Once Upon a Time in the East
David Askevold (1940-2008) is recognized as an important contributor to the development and pedagogy of conceptual art, and his work has been included in many of the genre’s seminal exhibitions and texts. This full-career retrospective exhibition considers the four strains of Askevold’s exploratory journey – sculpture/installation, film and video, photo-text works, and digital images and includes key pieces from each stage of his career.
David Askevold broke into the art scene when his work was included in the seminal exhibition Information at New York’s MOMA 1970, which cemented Conceptualism as a genre. He later became recognized as one of the most important contributors to the development and pedagogy of conceptual art; his work has been included in many of the genre’s formative texts and exhibitions. This exhibition takes viewers on an eclectic journey through the various strains of Askevold’s pioneering practice — sculpture/installation, film and video, photography and photo-text works, and digital imagery. David Askevold moved from Kansas City to Halifax in 1968 to lecture at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. During the early 1970s, his famous Projects Class brought such artists as Sol Lewitt, Vito Acconci, John Baldessari, Dan Graham, and Lawrence Weiner to work with his students, focusing critical attention on his adopted city and on his own unorthodox approach to making art. He quickly became on one of the most important conceptual artists practicing in Canada and throughout his career he remained at the vanguard of contemporary practice.
The accompanying catalogue, David Askevold: Once Upon a Time in the East, features essays by celebrated writer-curators Ray Cronin, Peggy Gale, Richard Hertz (author of The Beat and the Buzz), and Irene Tsatsos as well as several of Askevold’s contemporaries including Aaron Brewer, Tony Oursler, and Mario Garcia Torres.
Organized by the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia with the support of the Museums Assistance Program (MAP), Department of Canadian Heritage.