Geoffrey Farmer, The Surgeon and the Photographer, 2009-ongoing. Paper, textile, wood, and metal, Dimensions variable. Vancouver Art Gallery. Purchased with funds from the Jean MacMillan Southam Major Art Purchase Fund, Phil Lind, Vancouver Art Gallery Acquisition Fund, Canada Council for the Arts Acquisition Assistance Program, and the Michael O’Brian Family Foundation. Installation view, Geoffrey Farmer, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, 2016. Photo by John Kennard. © 2016 Geoffrey Farmer
“There is a definite poetry and magic to Mr. Farmer’s work.” – New York Times
“Farmer’s dizzying display is more than a bit marvelous…” – Boston Globe
Geoffrey Farmer (b. 1967, Vancouver) is best known for his installations and large-scale, sculptural photo collages. This immersive survey of the artist’s recent major “paper works” presents room-sized installations composed of hundreds of small sculptures made of cutout photographs, fabric, and various supports. In these recent works, processions of figures assembled from fragments of book and magazine photography and illustration manifest the artist’s interest in the cross-pollination of historical and vernacular imagery. Each spectacular composition begins to chart the historical contours of our image-saturated contemporary culture, and suggest the recurring cultural themes and formal patterns. Farmer uses movement, sound, animation, puppet characters, and a panoply of highly choreographed bodies and characters to investigate world history from the different angles of its photographic and sculptural accounts.