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Joyce Wieland Life & Work by Johanne Sloan

Joyce Wieland’s art was widely known in Canada during her lifetime, largely owing to two important exhibitions—her solo show at the National Gallery of Canada in 1971 and a retrospective at the Art Gallery of Ontario in 1987. Although there have been no more recent major exhibitions of Wieland’s artwork, her films circulate internationally. Film scholars and art historians continue to have lively discussions about Wieland’s impact on the art world. 


Invitation to the opening of Joyce Wieland Retrospective, 1957–67 at the Vancouver Art Gallery, 1968


Key Exhibitions

Wieland had numerous solo exhibitions at the Isaacs Gallery in Toronto throughout her career: 1960, 1962, 1963, 1967, 1972, 1974, 1981, 1983.


1968

1968, Five Films by Joyce Wieland, Museum of Modern Art, New York.

January 9–February 4, 1968, Joyce Wieland Retrospective, 1957–67, Vancouver Art Gallery.

1969

February–March 1969, Joyce Wieland Retrospective, Glendon College Art Gallery, York University, Toronto.

1971

July 2–August 8, 1971, True Patriot Love, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. Artist’s bookwork.

1980

1980, Joyce Wieland and Judy Chicago, Powerhouse Gallery, Montreal.

1987

April 16–June 28, 1987, Joyce Wieland Retrospective, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. Subsequently travelled to Confederation Centre Art Gallery, Charlottetown; Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton; MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina. Catalogue.



Writings by Wieland

Joyce Wieland's bookwork True Patriot Love, 1971, which accompanied her exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada

True Patriot Love / Véritable amour patriotique. Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 1971. Artist’s bookwork. 

“Internalview.” Canadian Woman Studies / Les cahiers de la femme 8, no. 4 (Winter 1987): 33–37.

Joyce Wieland: Writings and Drawings, 1952–1971. Edited by Jane Lind. Erin, ON: Porcupine’s Quill, 2009.



Critical Interpretations

There are two biographies of Joyce Wieland, both published in 2001: 

Lind, Jane. Joyce Wieland: Artist on Fire. Toronto: J. Lorimer, 2001. 
Nowell, Iris. Joyce Wieland: A Life in Art. Toronto: ECW Press, 2001.

Armatage, Kay. “Joyce Wieland, Feminist Documentary, and the Body of the Work,” Canadian Journal of Political and Social Theory 13, nos. 1–2 (1989): 91–101.


. “Fluidity: Joyce Wieland’s Political Cinema.” In The Gendered Screen: Canadian Women Filmmakers, edited by Brenda Austin-Smith and George Melnyk, 95–112. Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2010.

Banning, Kass. “The Mummification of Mommy: Joyce Wieland as the AGO’s First Living Other.” C Magazine, no. 13 (1987): 32–38.

Conley, Christine. “True Patriot Love: Joyce Wieland’s Canada.” In Art, Nation and Gender: Ethnic Landscapes, Myths and Mother-Figures, edited by Tricia Cusack and Síghle Bhreathnach-Lynch, 95–112. Aldershot, U.K.: Ashgate, 2003.

Elder, Kathryn, ed. The Films of Joyce Wieland. Toronto: Cinematheque Ontario, 1999.

Catalogue for the Art Gallery of Ontario exhibition Joyce Wieland, 1987, edited by Marie Fleming

Fleming, Marie. “Joyce Wieland: A Perspective.” In Joyce Wieland, 17–115. Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario, 1987. Exhibition catalogue.

Harcourt, Peter. “Joyce Wieland’s The Far Shore.” Take One, no. 2 (May 1976): 63–65.

Holmes, Kristy. “Negotiating Citizenship: Joyce Wieland’s Reason over Passion.” In The Sixties: Passion, Politics, and Style, edited by Dimitry Anastakis, 42–70. Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2008.

Holmes-Moss, Kristy A. “Negotiating the Nation: ‘Expanding’ the Work of Joyce Wieland.” Canadian Journal of Film Studies 15, no. 2 (Fall 2006): 20–43.

Lambton, Gunda. Stealing the Show: Seven Women Artists in Canadian Public Art. Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1994. 

Lippard, Lucy. “Watershed.” In Joyce Wieland, edited by Marie Fleming, 1–16. Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario, 1987. Exhibition catalogue.

Longfellow, Brenda. “Gender, Landscape, and Colonial Allegories in The Far Shore, Loyalties, and Mouvements du désir.” In Gendering the Nation: Canadian Women’s Cinema, edited by Kay Armatage, Kass Banning, Brenda Longfellow, and Janine Marchessault, 65–82. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1999.

O’Brian, John. “Anthem Lip-Sync.” Journal of Canadian Art History 21, nos. 1–2 (2000): 140–51.

Rabinovitz, Lauren. “After the Avant-Garde: Joyce Wieland and the New Avant-Gardes in the 1970s.” In Points of Resistance: Women, Power, and Politics in the New York Avant-Garde Cinema, 1943–1971, 184–215. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1991.

. “The Far Shore: Feminist Family Melodrama” (first published 1986). In The Films of Joyce Wieland, edited by Kathryn Elder, 119–28. Toronto: Cinematheque Ontario, 1999.

Sitney, P. Adams. “There Is Only One Joyce.” artscanada 27 (April 1970): 43–45.

Sloan, Johanne. “Joyce Wieland at the Border: Nationalism, the New Left, and the Question of Political Art in Canada, Circa 1971.” Journal of Canadian Art History, no. 26 (Fall 2005): 81–104.

. “Joyce Wieland and Michael Snow: Conceptual Landscape Art.” In Beyond Wilderness: The Group of Seven, Canadian Identity, and Contemporary Art, edited by John O’Brian and Peter White, 73–84. Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2007.

Joyce Wieland’s The Far Shore. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2010.



Key Interviews

Joyce Wieland in her studio in 1962, photographed by Michel Lambeth

Armatage, Kay. “Kay Armatage Interviews Joyce Wieland.” Take One 3, no. 2 (February 1972): 24.

Lister, Ardele. “Joyce Wieland Interview.” Criteria 2, no. 1 (February 1976): 14–17. 

Magidson, Debbie, and Judy Wright. “Interviews with Canadian Artists: Joyce Wieland.” Canadian Forum 54 (May–June 1974): 61–62.

Rabinovitz, Lauren. “An Interview with Joyce Wieland.” Afterimage 8, no. 10 (May 1981): 8–12.

Wordsworth, Anne. “Interview with Joyce Wieland.” Descant, nos. 8–9 (Spring/Summer 1974): 108–10.



Film

Armatage, Kay, dir. Artist on Fire: The Work of Joyce Wieland. Dominion Pictures, 1987. 16mm film, colour, 54 min. 

Wieland, Joyce. The Complete Works of Joyce Wieland, 1963–86. Toronto: Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre, 2011. Boxed set of five DVDs. Accompanied by critical texts by scholars Kristy Holmes, Anne Low, Allyson Mitchell, Izabella Pruska-Oldenhof, Johanne Sloan, and Leila Sujir. 
This set includes all of Wieland’s films and is available from the CFMDC and Cinémathèque québécoise.



Further Reading

Butler, Cornelia, and Lisa Gabrielle Mark, eds. WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution. Los Angeles: Museum of Contemporary Art; Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007. Exhibition catalogue.

Farver, Jane, Luis Camnitzer, and Rachel Weiss. Global Conceptualism: Points of Origin, 1950s–1980s. New York: Queen’s Museum of Art, 1999. Exhibition catalogue.

Leclerc, Denise, and Pierre Dessureault. The 60s in Canada. Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 2005. Exhibition catalogue.

Whitelaw, Anne, Brian Foss, and Sandra Paikowsky, eds. The Visual Arts in Canada: The Twentieth Century. Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press, 2010.

Wigmore, Donnalu, and John Parry. Isaacs Seen: 50 Years on the Art Front; A Gallery Scrapbook. Toronto: Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, Hart House, 2005. Exhibition catalogue.