From Classic to Contemporary
‘Over the past four decades, Joe Fafard has created a body of work that has found a permanent place in people’s hearts and minds. Remarkably, the appeal of his work crosses the lines that often divide our society: urban and rural, French and English, east and west, elite and popular. Regionally rooted yet cosmopolitan, Fafard’s aesthetic interests have always advanced hand in hand with a serious desire to engage our communal narratives.’ Terrence Heath. Joe Fafard, 2007, MBAC.
At the Musée des beauxarts de Sherbrooke, calves, cows, and pigs will mingle with figures from the world of politics, as well as with friends and family of the artist. These forty works in bronze or earthenware will be joined by a number of fine drawings of horses. The sculptor Joe Fafard is a purveyor of happiness: whoever sees his works is obliged to smile and be cheerful.
Joe Fafard, a twelfth generation Canadian, was born in SainteMarthe, Saskatchewan, on September 2nd 1942. He is a sculptor best known for creating objects which take as muse, and pay homage to, his community and farm life. He is equally well known for his intricate sculptures of individuals, be they artists, writers, theorists, politicians, strangers or friends. His career has boldly blazed a path for the reinvigoration of sculpture in the Canadian contemporary art scene. Fafard showed a keen interest in art from a young age. After receiving encouragement from his family, and high school teachers, Fafard entered formal art studies at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, graduating with a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in 1966. He then went on to complete a Masters of Arts degree from Pennsylvania State University. Fafard’s career took a major shift in the early 1980’s when he came across the Toronto Dominion Bank’s call of proposals for a new public art installation. The commission, which he won, propelled Fafard into a new phase of creation with a new medium, bronze. Whether he draws his inspiration from the animal kingdom or fellow artists, Fafard’s sculptures hold within them a quiet dignity and strength which continues to amaze and capture the public’s attention.