"The Newspaper" by derek beaulieu
OCTOBER 3-7, 2005
reception THURSDAY OCTOBER 6th, 2005 5:00-7:00pm
The Little Gallery
6th floor, Art Building
University of Calgary
2500 University Dr NW, Calgary, Alberta
Marshall McLuhan stated that reading the newspaper was an exercise in cubism in the everyday world.
derek beaulieu's "The Newspaper" examines the format and the reading of a daily newspaper -- a single painting for every page of an average issue of The Calgary Herald. The day was picked at random - July 18, 2002 - in order to reflect no single news event but rather to suggest the quotidian information which fills every issue. This project does not respond to the reading of a "news-worthy" event, but rather to the newspaper as a form and to the information cited within its pages.
3 years in its completion, "The Newspaper" consists of 124 full sized (14 ½" x 26 ½") painted reproductions of every page of the July 18, 2002 issue of The Calgary Herald replacing each article or advertisement with a flat block of colour, with no single colour duplicated. This was accomplished by initially counting and tabulating every article of the newspaper into eight categories: international, national, provincial and local news, business, sports, arts and health. Each category was then assigned a single colour, and every article within each category is a separate and distinguishable shade of that colour, resulting in an array of 156 unique shades each designating a different article within the newspaper's structure. The resultant paintings are reminiscent of Piet Mondrian work in his stark flat regions of dynamic colour, as well as constructivist and conceptual artists like Mayakovsky and leWitt.
However, while Mondrian explored motion and the interplay of colour, beaulieu is interested in how colour both informs and reflects a traditionally "literary" action - reading.
By reading the newspaper through "The Newspaper", beaulieu explores the way that information is presented to us, and the way that we are informed by its packaging. The newspaper is taken for granted as an "artless" media, a utilitarian media devoid of non-informative spaces. This is clearly not the case.
"The Newspaper"; the complete series of 124 paintings will be on display through The Little Gallery (located on the 6th floor of the Arts Building, University of Calgary, 2500 University Dr. NW. Calgary Alberta) OCTOBER 3-7th, 2005.
This project was completed through generous support of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts.
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