Aganetha Dyck

Opens February 22, 2020

Organized Glenbow

Aganetha Dyck was born in 1937 near Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she was raised in a Mennonite community. She credits this upbringing for her inventiveness and self-sufficiency.

Dyck was a young housewife living in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan in the mid-70s when a simple but pivotal moment in her life occurred. One evening, her husband asked if he could bring some business associates home for dinner. She said ‘no.’ While her husband simply made other plans, Dyck had a revelation brought on by the empowering connotations of that simple word. It was the catalyst to her groundbreaking art career in which she explored her own lived experience and emotions, as well as activities and objects that are often connected with feminine labour and gendered knowledge.

Since 1976 she has participated in over 30 solo exhibitions and more than 70 group exhibitions in Canada, the United States and Europe. She was awarded the Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts in 2007, the Manitoba Arts Council Award of Distinction in 2006, and membership into the Royal Academy of Arts.

The pieces on exhibit are drawn from two bodies of art work: Canned Buttons from the Large Cupboard (1983 – 84) and Hand Held: Between Index and Middle Finger (1987). The former consists of an array of fifteen sealed jars and containers filled with buttons and various other materials. Many of the jars are worn and the material inside is murky, eliciting both a sense of humour and revulsion.

Hand Held: Between Index and Middle Finger began when Dyck posted signs around various office buildings in Winnipeg, offering to transform the last cigarette of anyone who wanted to quit smoking. Many people responded to the request and she spent months making these symbolic, personalized cigarettes. Encrusted with strange objects such as pearls, metal, cloth, Christmas holly, a fake diamond, bits of brush, held in place with beeswax, wire and plastic tubing, they have a strange ironic beauty and appeal.

130 9th Ave S.E.
Calgary, AB T2G 0P3

Monday: Closed
Tuesday - Thursday: 9am - 5pm
Friday: 9am - 8pm
Saturday: 9am - 5pm
Sunday: 12pm - 5pm


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Glenbow - Alberta Institute
Charitable Registration Number
107435695 RR0001


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