Shary Boyle. Flesh and Blood

Curator: Louise Déry

Artist: Shary Boyle

Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver

June 16, 2011 - August 21, 2011

The Galerie de l’UQAM will inaugurate the exhibition Shary Boyle: Flesh and Bloodfrom January 6, 2011. Recipient of the 2010 Hnatyshyn Foundation Award, Shary Boyle is considered one of the most fascinating artists of today’s Canadian art scene. The project, produced and circulated by the Galerie de l’UQAM, was first unveiled at the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto) in fall 2011. After the Galerie de l’UQAM, the exhibition will be on view at the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver from June 17, 2011. The project is curated by Louise Déry.


Shary Boyle’s practice is multi-disciplinary: she draws, sculpts, paints and creates installations as well as audiovisual performances to explore the range of human psychological and emotional states through fantasy fictions. She does it from a position that is at once feminist, oneiric and poetic. Always charged with troubled emotions and expressive candour, her works refashion the archetypes of ancient myths, children’s literature and figurative convention to renew the potential of their meaning.

Poised between grace and strangeness, her portraits and genre scenes read like allegories of the human condition. Their resolutely symbolic and profoundly original language raise bold perspectives on the present. Shary Boyle reveals a conscience haunted by an ethical and human consideration of our world today. She exposes life, animality, heredity, sexuality and death, activating and transgressing these in an intense investigation of the complex links between individuals and species.

Shary Boyle: Flesh and Blood is the first major solo exhibition of the artist ever shown in Canada. It includes over 30 works realized since 2006, most of them never exhibited before.


A 200-page bilingual publication accompanies the exhibition and brings together a varied corpus of works created since 2002. Text and images reveal the fantasy world of Shary Boyle. Richly illustrated, the catalogue includes an essay by the curator Louise Déry with additional texts of James Bewley and Michelle Jacques.


Born in 1972 and based in Toronto, Shary Boyle graduated from the Ontario College of Art in 1994 and has since traveled, lived and performed throughout Canada, Europe and the US. Shary Boyle’s work has been the subject of several solo exhibitions including at The Power Plant (Toronto, 2006) and at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery (Lethbridge, 2008). In 2009 her work was featured at the Fumetto Festival in Lucerne, Switzerland, and included in the exhibition The Likely Fate of the Man that Swallowed the Ghost of the Centre Pompidou in Paris. The Gardiner Museum in Toronto, the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa and the Maison Rouge in Paris feature Boyle’s work in their 2010 and 2011 programs. Shary Boyle’s work is collected internationally, with pieces in the National Gallery of Canada, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the Paisley Museum in Scotland. She received the Gershon-Iskowitz Prize at the AGO in 2009 and, the following year, a Hnatyshyn Foundation Visual Arts Awards for outstanding achievement by a Canadian artist. She is represented by Jessica Bradley Art + Projects, Toronto.


Curator, author and teacher Louise Déry holds a Ph.D. in art history and has been the director of the Galerie de l’UQAM since 1997. She has worked with numerous artists, including Manon de Pauw, Dominique Blain, Raphaëlle de Groot, Nancy Spero, David Altmejd, Stéphane La Rue, Daniel Buren, Giuseppe Penone and Sarkis. She is interested in the relationship between body and language, the question of artistic engagement, the international dissemination of Quebec art and public art. She published two monographs on the artist David Altmejd and curated his exhibition at the 52nd Venice Biennale. First winner of the Hnatyshyn Award (2007) for her work as a curator, she is currently preparing a Michael Snow exhibition and a catalogue for Fresnoy, in France, which will open in February 2011.