Joyce Wieland: A Life in Art by Iris Nowell

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Joyce Wieland: A Life in Art by Iris Nowell

8vo. pp. 519. 4 double-sided colour plates & 8 double-sided b/w plates. index. wrs. [Toronto]: EWC Press, [2001].


ISBN: 9781550224764 / 155022476X

A review of this book by Quill & Quire, the leading magazine of the Canadian book trade can be found here

"Obscene poverty" is how Joyce Wieland described her childhood. Yet through her courage, vivacity, and rollicking wit, she triumphed over her painful early years to achieve international acclaim as a painter, collagist, quiltmaker, and filmmaker. She is Canada's most important woman artists, second only to Emily Carr.
Joyce Wieland's art stands alone. Her strikingly individualistic themes of patriotism, the environment, feminism, sexuality, historical passages, and Aboriginal rights appear in buoyant, satirical images. Her powerful erotic images linger in the mind, just as her troubling renderings of catastrophes will not vanish. To make her self-revelatory art, Wieland uses toys, paper cut-outs, wood, glass, and pieces of her panties as boldly and felicitously as she uses oils, watercolours, and pencils.
Some of her most famous works are quilts, such as Reason Over Passion and Confedspread, and her fifteen underground films, made as early as 1958, are still in demand at universities and film festivals the world over.
Joyce Wieland was known to tuck away her secrets in her work. Author Iris Nowell has uncovered many of these secrets through personal interviews with more than fifty of Joyce's relatives, colleagues, and friends, and Canada's leading art curators, as well as having prodigiously researches her subject over a period of four years.
Nowell brings an immediacy to this book from having known Joyce since the 1960s. The informative, rollicking, and sometimes heart-wrenching biography celebrates Joyce Wieland's life through the 1950s in Toronto, her tumultuous marriage to artist Michael Snow, their move to the grunge of New York's loft life and its eccentric underground film scene, and back to Toronto to the most productive, successful years of Joyce's life.