A man in a darkened workshop, surrounded and obscured by dust clouds. A pair of larger-than-life hands, holding a mallet, ready to strike. Spectacles that play with the idea of turning lies into truth and cynics into believers. A cinder block, precariously suspended above a fragile glass, held in place by a single line of tension. Welcome to John Greer: retroActive.
Sculptor, conceptual artist, and unconventional art maker John Greer has been telling stories through his work for more than fifty years. Drawing on his present and past experiences, his travels and exploits, and his anxieties and fears, his work offers poignant meditations on the human environment, all the while challenging the viewer's perspective with humour, intelligence, and a trail of narrative.
RetroActive offers a comprehensive view of Greer's work and his commitment to the discourse of sculpture. Stunningly designed by Susanne Schaal and featuring the photographs of Raoul Manuel Schnell, the book contains more than three hundred representations of Greer and his work — in situ, in galleries, in process — bringing into focus Greer's significant contributions to the world of art and ideas. Also included in the book are essays by Ray Cronin, Andria Minicucci, Dennis Reid, Ron Shuebrook, David Diviney, Sarah Fillmore, and Vanessa Paschakarnis.
John Greer taught at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design for almost three decades, where his thinking and teaching helped shape contemporary sculpture in Canada. His work has been included in more than fifty solo and sixty group exhibitions and is held in public and private collections around the globe. In 2009 Greer was the recipient of the Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts, Canada's highest distinction in the field of art and culture.
David Diviney is curator of exhibitions at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax. He was previously director of the Eye Level Gallery in Halifax and assistant curator at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge. He has taught courses in drawing, sculpture, and gallery studies at the Alberta College of Art and Design, University of Lethbridge, Thompson Rivers University, and Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning. Diviney obtained a BFA with honours from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University, Philadelphia, and an MFA from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax.