Five black and white photographs of nude or draped women.
Cinq photos en noir et blanc.
In the case of this selection from Vancouver photographer Evan Lee’s series Nude and Draped Figure Studies by the artist and his father, “The Friends of the Library” chose these contemporary photographs fairly recently in order to add to the bishop’s collection following Henri’s death in 1954.
It is likely that The Friends of the Library came across this particular series of Lee’s during its display at the Contemporary Art Gallery of Vancouver in 2009 as part of the exhibition Playing Homage. Why they chose to only purchase five photographs from the twelve in the series is not entirely known but was likely due to budgetary constraints.
The series has been described as: “Another pseudo-collaboration between the artist and his father, where nude studies made by the artist’s father in the 1950s are the source material for a period re-creation. In the finished installation of this work, the images made by the artist in the present were displayed with ones made by his father in the past, as if made by the same person at the same time and place. The artist’s intention was to create an anachronism. This project is the second time that the artist has used his father’s amateur photography and consider both projects to be collaborations with his father despite the 50-60 years difference and his father’s very limited involvement. These projects follow a lineage of conceptual themes considered by artists such as Marcel Duchamp, Sherrie Levine, and Richard Prince probing the idea of originality and authorship in the work of art, but pushes further to consider the uncertain and unexpected roles that certain and unavoidable relations, such as those of family, time and history, might play.”
The Friends of the Library felt that the layering of Lee’s work with his father’s older works, perpetuating a beautiful uncertainty about who had created which images during which point in history, fit well with the mandate of the Prud'homme Library to house works that question the intersections of fact and fiction, story and history, art and reality.