Review by John Fleming

Joe Fafard
Terrence Heath. Vancouver/Toronto/Berkeley:
Douglas & McIntyre and Ottawa, National Gallery of Canada, 2007.
ISBN: 978-155365-221-2 CN $55.00

P
ublished in conjunction with the exhibition Joe Fafard organized by the Mackenzie Art Gallery in Regina in collaboration with the National Gallery of Canada, this text by Terrence Heath is both biography and catalogue. Heath’s well written narrative moves nicely through “Ste. Marthe: The Growing-Up Years” which details the childhood of one of Canada’s best known artists, and four stages of Joe Fafard’s development as an artist to a final sixth section entitled “The Fafard Aesthetic” in which Heath completes the circle with a careful summing up and assessment of Joe Fafard’s long career.

The setting near the Qu’Appelle Valley in Saskatchewan and the close-knit family life of a tiny farming community, French speaking and Catholic, imbued Joe from infancy with the rhythms of rural activity and the values of his geographical home and personal experience. These were to become the materials of his art.

Image: Vie en Vie, 1991
Bronze, patina, edition 2/3
197.3 x 182 x 93.6 cm
Collection of Jim Shaw (Courtesy of the Douglas Udell Gallery)