Bill Vazan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Bill Vazan
Born 1933
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Nationality Canadian
Education Ontario College of Art
École des beaux-arts
Known for artist land art creations, sculpture, painting and photography

Bill Vazan is a Canadian artist, born in Toronto, Ontario in 1933. He studied Fine Arts at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto, and at the École des beaux-arts in Paris. In 1970 he graduated with a B.A. from Sir George Williams University, now Concordia University, in Montreal, Quebec. He currently lives and works in Montreal. Since 1982 he has taught at the Université du Québec à Montréal. Vazan is internationally known for his land art creations, sculpture, painting and photography. His work has been widely exhibited in North America and abroad.[1] He was made a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.[2]

Bill Vazan has described himself as "someone who is by nature neurotic, compulsive and obsessive".[3] Starting in the late 1960s, he has made journeys in Montreal and Toronto, and later across Canada and around the world, documenting the journeys in sequences of photographs, maps and notes. The pictures are constrained by a self-imposed protocol such as recording every bus stop or street intersection from exactly the same spatial direction without regard to lighting or composition. The work consists of the line of photographs in the itinerary rather than the individual images. In his projects Canada Line (1969–1970), Worldline (1969–1971) and Intercommunication Lines (1968/2002), Vazan used lines of black tape on the ground to virtually link the locations, symbolically eliminating distance and time.[3]

Bill Vazan's conceptual and minimalist land art projects of the 1960s and 1970s were often ephemeral, created by chalk lines, arrangements of stones and so on, and now only surviving through photographs, books and videos. He created "Canada in Parentheses" in collaboration with Ian Wallace in August 1969. Working simultaneously, each artist created a crescent-shaped form: Wallace on the west coast and Vazan on the east coast. Vazan created other controversial land art projects on the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City (1979), on the Nazca plains in Peru (1984–86), in Utah and Nevada (1993), in Gotland, Sweden (1997) and in the mountains of Thebes in Egypt (2001). In some of these works, Vazan created quasi-mythical sculptures, including rock engravings that resemble Aztec, Mayan or Celtic art.[4]

Bill Vazan considers that nature and humanity are profoundly linked. His work investigates the human-cosmos relationship. In these works, what is important is not what is seen but what is unseen and unknown - the "cosmological shadows".[5]

Solo exhibitions[edit]

Bill Vazan has exhibited in numerous group exhibitions, and in the following solo exhibitions:[6]


  • Foreword (2004), Art nature dialogues interviews with environmental artists. P117ff, Albany: State University of New York Press, ISBN 0-7914-6194-7 
  • Grande, John K (1998), Intertwining : landscape, technology, issues, artists. P42ff, Montréal: Black Rose, ISBN 1-55164-110-0 
  • Grande, John K (1996), Bill Vazan : jumpgates, an overview of photoworks, 1981-1995, Peterborough, Ont.: Art Gallery of Peterborough, ISBN 1-896809-01-4 
  • Campbell, James D (1993), Bill Vazan : a cosmic dance, thunderstones, wererocks and shamanic drawings, 1987-1992, Kingston, Ont.: Agnes Etherington Art Centre, ISBN 0-88911-547-8 
  • Vazan, Danièle Photographie (1987), Bill Vazan : landschemes & waterscapes : œuvres récentes 1982-987 : 12 mai - 11 juin, 1987, Centre Saidye Bronfman, Montreal, Montréal: Centre Saidye Bronfman, ISBN 0-920473-12-1 
  • Vazan, Bill (1985), Bill Vazan, ghostings : early projects and drawings : premiers projets et dessins, S.l.: Artexte, ISBN 0-9690558-4-6 
  • 1974. Conceptual Art: Transformation of Natural and of Cultural Environments W Vazan, P Heyer (Leonardo)


  1. ^ "Meet the Artist: Bill Vazan" Cybermuse. Retrieved 3 March 2009.
  2. ^ "Members since 1880". Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Archived from the original on 26 May 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Walking Into the Vanishing Point: Conceptual Works of Bill Vazan" Vox. Retrieved 3 March 2009.
  4. ^ "A Conversation with Bill Vazan: Cosmological Shadows" Retrieved 3 March 2009.
  5. ^ "Bill Vazan: Cosmological Shadows" Archived May 5, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. Kelowna Art Gallery. Retrieved 3 March 2009.
  6. ^ "Bill Vazan"[permanent dead link] York University Fine Arts. Retrieved 3 March 2009.
  7. ^ La Chambre Blanche website Retrieved 4 March 2009.