Born 1937 in Marquette, MB, Canada
Lives and works in Winnipeg, MB, Canada
A venerable Canadian artist, Dyck is best known for her transformation of domestic objects – the canning of buttons, the shrinking of woollen suits and working with bees to add, alter and destroy found objects. Now in her 80s, Dyck has continued to work with the domestic and the readymade, with increasing degrees of humour, absurdity and wit permeating her work, influenced not only by Duchamp, but by the freedom of Winnipeg artists Neil Farber and Michael Dumontier.
Included in her recent exhibition were a selection of bee-altered found objects from thrift stores – a salt and pepper shaker set in the form of a man in a rocking chair and a set of distorted novelty glasses – that represent those small moments of delight in everyday life that counter routines of domesticity. With her faux-diamond tiaras and silk roses, Dyck embraces the kitsch, as these objects that symbolize regalia, celebration and love fail in their representations of such, embracing the reality of their existence.
In the recent series Shrunken Crochet, Dyck has constructed larger than life-sized anthropomorphic forms which are then shrunken down to create small figures that embrace elements of chance and surprise and exude distinctive personalities. Small waxed drawings done quickly and unconsciously reveal organic and bodily forms, while the series of altered cigarettes transform vices into amusing and senseless relics.
Humour can be used a way to disrupt, to uncover impulses, to explore ideas of gender and to confront everyday life. Here, humour pervades Dyck’s transformation of objects as the artist reflects the conditions of life in general and what it means to be human – to persist, to cope and to transform the world around you.
Aganetha Dyck (b. 1937 in Marquette, MB) is a Canadian artist who is interested in interspecies communication and environmental issues, specifically the power of the small. She was the recipient of the Manitoba Arts Council Award of Distinction in 2006, and Canada Council’s Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts in 2007. Her work is held in numerous public and private collections including the National Gallery of Canada, Vancouver Art Gallery and the Glenbow Museum. Dyck currently lives and works in Winnipeg, MB.