Joan Balzar 1960+
Since the 1960s, Joan Balzar has experimented with neon light and vibrant colours testing the limits of the canvas in her large-scale abstract works. Balzar, a long-term resident of West Vancouver, is recognized as an important figure in the development of abstract painting on the West Coast. Produced during a period of enthusiasm and innovation 1960–1972, the majority of the works in Joan Balzar 1960+ will be on display for the first time. This includes Electra II (1967/2009), a piece of neon tubing created by the artist for this exhibition.
Balzar formulated her own response to the complex artistic requirement of the new space age through her exploration of the rhythm of colour and its relation to scale and perception. Her use of pulsating modulated shapes and bold scale activate a powerful sensory and experimental relationship between the artwork and its viewer. Titles, such as Electra II, Spinner, and Fusion, attest to Balzar's desire to create a space that is active with the energy of the urban cosmos. Similarly, Sonic Core and Perimeter II signal a move beyond the visual towards the multiplicity of human sensoria which include the optical and aural.