UM Today UM Today University of Manitoba UM Today UM Today UM Today

GALLERY OPENING: Facebook Posts by George Toles, illustrated by Cliff Eyland

June 16, 2014 — 

Date: Monday, June 16, 2014  (TONIGHT!)
Time: 7:30 pm
Location: McNally Robinson, Grant Park in Prairie Ink Restaurant, Winnipeg

In creating each art piece for the social media platform Facebook, the duo has created work that can be endlessly reproduced and viewed without the need for traditional formats such as galleries. No small irony that these pieces will be presented in a gallery setting. Eyland and Toles’ Facebook posts break tradition with the way we perceive art’s place and function in society. Customarily a digital reproduction is thought to be different from the original in one fundamental way: the first digital reproduction misses something of the physical original. Toles and Eyland turn this convention upside down by creating the work first digitally and second physically. They allow the work to first be owned by everyone, increasing its intrinsic value through its ability to be shared and enjoyed by anyone, virtually anywhere and at anytime.

Each artwork highlights the collaboration between art, literature and new media. Witty and often comical, the pieces are short stories enclosing a host of characters and situations.  The topics of sex, family, relationships and the awkward moments that make life interesting play prevalent roles in Toles’ writing. Eyland’s creative exploration into digital artwork adds a playful contextualization to Toles’ words.

Visit the gallery online.

For twenty-five years George Toles has been Guy Maddin’s screenwriting collaborator, most recently on the feature film Keyhole. He also wrote the original story and co-wrote the screenplay for Canada’s first stop-action animated feature film, Edison and Leo. George is the author of A House Made of Light, and is currently finishing a monograph on the films of Paul Thomas Anderson.

A painter, writer, professor, and curator Cliff Eyland has made paintings, drawings, and notes in an index card format – 3”x5” (7.6 x 12.7) since 1981. In 2009 Eyland began illustrating the fictional Facebook status updates of Distinguished Professor of Literature and Film, and Chair of Film Studies at the University of Manitoba, George Toles. Together the pair has written and illustrated almost 1,700 pages worth of social media updates. This exhibit at Gurevich Fine Art @ McNally Robinson showcases a selection of these pieces.

Cliff Eyland has shown his work in public and secret installations in art galleries and libraries in Canada, the United States and Europe. In 2003 he was shortlisted for the national RBC/Canadian Art Foundation painting award. Eyland’s ongoing installation at the Raymond Fogelman Library at the New School University in New York City was regularly updated from 1997 until 2005. His permanent installation of over 1000 paintings at Winnipeg’s Millennium Library opened in 2005. Eyland has also written criticism for Canadian art magazines since 1983. His curatorial work includes 9 years as a curator at the Technical University of Nova Scotia School of Architecture (Daltech) and freelance work for various galleries, Including the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art in Winnipeg. (From 1995 to 2005, Eyland was vice-president of the board of Plug In.) Eyland was the Director of Gallery One One One at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg from 1998 to 2010. He is currently an Associate Professor of painting at the University of Manitoba School of Art.

This is the tenth installment of the Gurevich Fine Art @ McNally Robinson gallery series: a monthly display of work from a Winnipeg artist exhibited in Prairie Ink Restaurant & Bakery.


© University of Manitoba • Winnipeg, Manitoba • Canada • R3T 2N2

Emergency: 204-474-9341