A History of Artist-Run Spaces in Canada, With Particular Reference to Vehicule, A Space and the Western Front
Diana Nemiroff

This thesis examines the aesthetic, socio-cultural and economic conditions that fostered the emergence of the artist-run centres in the late sixties in Canada. It analyzes in detail the idea of alternativeness which influenced the philosophical outlook of the artist-run centres, and traces the historical role played by the Canadian state as their major patron. After studying two precursors of the present network of artist-run centres, 20/20 gallery in London, Ontario and Intermedia in Vancouver, the thesis presents a case history of Vehicule in Montreal, followed by a comparative analysis of A Space in Toronto and the Western Front in Vancouver. The development of the artist-run centres into a formal network, the Association of National Non-Profits Artists’ Centres, is also considered, followed by an assessment of the past achievements and future direction of the artist-run centres in Canada. Chronologies of exhibitions and events at Vehicule (1972 - 1982), A Space (1971 - 1984) and the Western Front (1973 - 1984) are included.


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