This, That and Other Things
Ken Webb studied at the Alberta College of Art in Calgary and attended the Royal College of Art in London, England for post-graduate studies. He has taught at the University of Calgary and is currently Professor Emeritus at Alberta University of the Arts. Ken Webb has shown with John Ramsay Contemporary Art in Vancouver, Paul Kuhn Gallery in Calgary, Mira Goddard in Toronto and in numerous international exhibitions. Ken’s work has been published in “Hidden Values, Contemporary Canadian Art in Corporate Collections” (Robert Swain), “Printmaking in Alberta: 1945 – 1985” (Bente Roed Cochran) and “Sitelines, Printmaking and Image Culture” (Walter Jule) and "An Alberta Chronicle, Adventures in Recent and Contemporary Art" (Mary-Beth Laviolette). In 2002, Kenneth Webb received the Award of Excellence from the Alberta College of Art and Design.
Ken’s work combines printed photographic images, graphic elements and the handmade painted object to create open narratives that are both mysterious and poetic. This exhibition features new work made during the past 5 years when the artist began to self-isolate for health reasons, long before Covid. This work is introspective and reflects the artist’s constant editing of images and personal motifs repeated throughout an artistic career that spans over 5 decades.
The representational imagery in this work is autobiographical in nature, symbolic of the frame of mind of a man who has had to retreat from the world and therefore seen his world become smaller. A branch from a tree or bush that he can see from over the top of the fence that surrounds his Calgary yard, a crow which can symbolize a bad omen or a message from God, both the amaryllis, which blooms only a short while, and a wilting black rose are symbols of memento mori. These are beautifully constructed and poetic paintings by an artist who has made work for over 50 years, who has been touched by death and yet is still driven to make new work in his studio-retreat, in isolation.