It’s been a while since I have posted anything on the wonderful and often weird architecture that dots the Winnipeg landscape. In this offering let us explore some of Winnipeg’s parks and the downtown area for some truly bizarre offerings.
First on our neck snapping trip through town lets take a peek in Assiniboine Park just south of Portage Avenue. This metal monstrosity entitled Agassiz Ice sits like a shiny metal turd polluting the once clean vista of inviting grass and sunny blue sky. I’ll let sculptor Gordon Reeve tell you what he thinks of it.
Agassiz Ice in Assiniboine Park.
The sculpture “opens” just as a film does with an establishing shot of the park with the sculpture in the distance framed by the sky, trees and a river. As the viewer approaches along a predetermined route it appears to grow in size and what appeared to be a single sculpture becomes two and then three separate forms with a passage through. The hard irregular edges isolate a rapid succession of “cinematic frames” which are experienced in varying increments of time. The initial approach takes from twelve to thirty seconds before a significant change in point of view. Another ten to twelve seconds and as the piece is revealed the viewer is able to see and feel the cool polished metal.” Gordon Reeve
Metal masterpiece or shiny steel turds?
Poppycock, there is no predetermined pathway to this gauche monstrosity and it takes a good hour to get stink of artistic failure off of you in the shower before you feel clean again. What a waste of metal and money.
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Posted in Rants, Winnipeg and Hometown Goings On
Tagged Agassiz Ice, Assiniboine Park, Assiniboine River, Étienne Gaboury, Bronze Sculpture, Canada, David Perrett, Gordon Reeve, Government Waste, James Richardson and Sons, Leo Mol, Manitoba, Metal, Peter Sawatzky, Poppycock, Portage Avenue, Public Art, Richardson Building, Sculpture, Seal River Crossing, St Boniface, Tree Children, Winnipeg, Winnipeg Block Stop, Winnipeg Route 85
Last post I promised everyone a return trip back into Winnipeg’s Assiniboine Park. More to the point I all but promised to show you the working men and nudes that made Leo Mol sought after sculptor the world over.
As I showed in my last post Mol had a grand love of the beauty and quiet of nature. A very good friend of mine cared for Leo in his final years at the Taché Nursing Home where he was a resident. In our long walks through the garden that bears his name she would speak of Leo with worried tones. As one of the many nurses charged with his care she would often sit and visit with him, she spoke of the the way a mention of his artwork could snap him out of his haze and return a smile and razor edge to his mind as he discussed at length the processes and inspirations that brought life to his art.
I never got to meet Leo Mol personally, but like I often say Winnipeg is a small enough city to know someone through the company they keep. In his work I could see a steady and measured hand, a quiet mind that enjoyed beauty in all of it’s forms. A man driven and skilled enough to craft metal and glass and paint into the images that he alone saw in his minds eye.
Bronze nudes and the female form.
Family Group (1990)
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Tagged Assiniboine Park, Ballerina, Bronze, Buenos Aries, Girls, Health, Heydamaky, John Diefenbaker, Leo Mol, Manitoba, Moses, Nubile Girls, Nudes, Osborne Village, Poem, Poet, Politician, Prime Minister, Religion, Sculpture, Sculpture garden, Taras Shevchenko, Tom Lamb, Ukraine, Uprising, Winnipeg, Young Nudes
With the arrival of spring here in Winnipeg I got to thinking about all of my favourite haunts. One of my favourite places to hang out and enjoy a nice sunny afternoon is Assiniboine Park. Within the sprawling acreage there are riding trails, formal gardens, duck ponds and the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden.
Located conveniently adjacent to the foot bridge spanning the Assiniboine River, the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden showcases the artistic mastery of one of Winnipeg’s own. Born Leonid Molodozhanyn in Ukraine January 15, 1915. He studied sculpture at the Leningrad Academy of Arts and was influenced by Arno Breker and undoubtedly war-torn Europe of the 1940’s. He immigrated to Canada after the war with his new bride Magareth and made Winnipeg his home until he died July 4, 2009. His credits include the Order of Canada, Order of Manitoba. He also held honorary doctorates from the Universities of Manitoba, Alberta, and Winnipeg.
Leo Mol’s work graces the Vatican, Parliament Hill in Ottawa, and many churches and cathedrals in Canada including St. Mary’s Catholic Church in my home town of Fort Frances. Working not only in bronze but also in stained glass and paint; his commissions came from around the world.
Walking through the sculpture garden on a warm sunny day, perhaps in the morning with the sun just peeking over the treetops and the birds waking from a cheerful slumber chirping softly one can feel at total peace. The smell of dew fills your head as you walk through the paths and ponds in this bronze wonderland.
Take a walk with me now as we walk the paths in the park enjoying a beautiful day with the bronzes of Leo Mol.
Entering the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden.
Entering the Sculpture Garden from the English Garden
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Posted in Winnipeg and Hometown Goings On
Tagged Arno Breker, Arts, Assiniboine Park, Assiniboine River, Bronze Sculpture, Canadian Pacific Railway, Chinese Labour, Gardens, Leo Mol, Manitoba, Pope, Sculpture, Sculpture garden, Steve Ashton, Taras Shevchenko, Ukraine, Vatican, Winnipeg