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Brian Jungen Friendship Centre is an in-depth exploration of this internationally acclaimed artist’s approach to sculpture and the largest exhibition of his work to date. He has repeatedly worked with existing consumer products, reassembling them to make potent new forms. His recent Warrior sculpture series, made from Air Jordans, presents variations on Indigenous headdresses, while his Prototype for New Understanding series are made from Nike sneakers sewn together to resemble masks created by Northwest Coast peoples.
The AGO is featuring sculptures, paintings, drawings and installation work that spans Jungen’s entire career. His newly created works include Tombstone (2019), a sculpture resembling a giant turtle supported by a base of filing cabinets, alongside a director’s cut of Modest Livelihood (2019), a film he made with artist Duane Linklater that explores their relationship to the land through moose hunting. Furniture Sculpture (2006), a monumental tipi created from 11 leather sofas, will be on view in Walker Court from July 5 to 28.
The exhibition makes public for the first time material from Jungen’s archive, offering viewers access into the artist’s working process, giving visitors deeper insight into how he thinks and creates.
Brian Jungen created a massive tipi by “skinning” eleven leather sofas and repurposing their wooden frames. The artist notes “In communities there’s something about a black leather sofa that, at least in my own background, is a status symbol,” said Jungen. “I thought it was a crazy icon of wealth...but there’s a lot of hide in them.”
HARK, the AGO chatbot, will be chatting about the exhibition Brian Jungen: Friendship Centre. Start using HARK while you visit the exhibition on the 2nd floor of the gallery.
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This book looks at over 80 sculptures, drawings, and film stills, along with a selection of archival materials including photographs, images of the artist working, unrealized works, and research pictures. Essays, an interview with the artist, and a timeline round out this generously illustrated book that details Jungen's deep material explorations which highlight a long history of inequality, a concern for the environment, and a profound commitment to Indigenous ways of knowing and making.
Authors: Kitty Scott, Ken Lum, Gerald McMaster, Candice Hopkins, Yasmin Nurming-Por
Dimensions: 10.25" x 10.25"