gathie falk

This is just a teeny, tiny peek at the work of 92 year old Canadian artist Gathie Falk. I have loved her work since my days as an art student. She was a successful, female, Canadian artist… which was exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up. The first time I actually saw Gathie’s work in person – at the National Gallery of Canada in 1999 I cried. She does everything from painting to installation, but it’s this series of life-size, papier maché dresses that gets me every time. Feminine portraits, each with their own story told only with a few objects… no faces required. The photos above are Gathie with her mother in 1942, followed by a much more recent shot of Gathie in action. Here is a description of her work from Equinox Gallery, her representation in Vancouver:

“Gathie Falk’s practice meticulously transforms objects of everyday experience into extraordinary things. Working in a variety of media that includes performance art, sculpture, ceramics, painting and drawing, Falk has produced works that feel surreal and dreamlike, reinventing clothing, fruit, plants, shoes, or baseball caps into objects of much greater significance. Although these objects are relatable in their familiarity, it is the personal symbols they carry – not the universal – that are of interest to Falk. Her practice has been aligned with the traditions of Surrealism, Funk, Fluxus, and Pop Art, but the influences are rarely direct. Indeed, Falk is most comfortable when poised on the edge of contradictions.”

Sigh. Love.