June 13, 2008
by Canadian Architect
Canadian artist Jeff Ladouceur’s massive inflatable sculpture Floater will span the columns of the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Georgia Street faade. Created to coincide with the current exhibition KRAZY! The Delirious World of Anime + Comic + Video Games + Art, the large-scale installation of a cartoon-like body intertwined in the gallery’s pillars, draws on the artist’s celebrated work as an illustrator. Constructed of inflatable polyester cloth, the sculpture was installed on June 6th and will be on display until the closing of KRAZY! on September 7th.
Like much of Ladouceur’s drawings, Floater alludes to the wandering hobo anti-hero of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century comics, such as the buffoonish “rogue” Ally Sloper, who bumbled his way through British funny papers and the tin can-lidded Happy Hooligan, who was put through a punishing regime of pratfalls every week in the early 1900s.The sculpture is an extension of the drawn figures in the artist’s book Schmo published in 2004, which stretch and contort in a manner akin to Jack Cole’s post-World War II comic-book hero Plastic Man or Olive Oyl in Max Fleischer’s animated Popeye shorts of the 1930s. Echoing these characters, Floater‘s hose-like appendages coil into the surrounding architecture of the gallery faade, creating comedic effects through its figurative abstraction.
Jeff Ladouceur is the seventh artist presented in NEXT: a series of artist projects from the Pacific Rim. The series highlights work previously unseen in Vancouver and seeks to engage the diverse practices of Pacific Rim artists. The Vancouver Art Gallery commissioned Ladouceur to create Floater. The project is organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery and curated by guest curator Jordan Strom.
Born in Nanaimo, Canada, in 1975, Jeff Ladouceur currently divides his time between Brooklyn, New York and Vancouver, British Columbia. His work has been included in numerous group exhibitions, including In Full Cry, New Image Art, Los Angeles (2007), Tinyvices, Colette, Paris (2007) and On-Line: Contemporary Drawing, Sonoma State University Art Gallery, California (2006). He has had solo exhibitions in Paris, New York, Toronto, Los Angeles, Montreal and Brussels. His work has been featured in The Believer, Kramer’s Ergot, Harper’s, Border Crossings and The Walrus. L’Oie de Cravan press has published Ladouceur’s books Schmo (2004) and Ebola (2002); a new title is scheduled for release by the same press in 2008.