Various Artists

November 01, 2023 - November 15, 2023

Snelgrove Art Gallery

Curated by Da Silva, Elliot, moore, and Rayan

quanTA is a collaborative exhibition between quanTA: the Centre for Quantum Topology and Its Applications, the University of Saskatchewan Art Galleries and Collections, and the Museum of Natural Sciences in a true merging of groundbreaking quantum innovation! Selected collections artworks were curated by Quantum Arts co-lead jake moore, Snelgrove Exhibitions coordinator Gabby Da Silva, and Registrar Blair Barbeau in response to original gestures of Dr. Steven Rayan and Anna Elliot. The exhibition was installed by the Art Galleries' team of technicians Todd Gronsdahl and Jacob Semko. Also a special thanks to Erica Bird, Manager of the Museum of Natural History. The works presented run from the University Art Collection, the Museum of Natural History, as well as personal collections and 3-D printed objects that work alongside newly created speculative video works by Anna Elliott.

Open Mondays - Fridays between 10am - 4pm, and Saturday, November 4 and Saturday, November 11 between 12 - 5pm.

Join us for an opening reception on Thursday, November 9 at 4:00 - 6:00pm!

Please Note that there will be an unrelated artist talk in the Snelgrove Gallery on Wednesday, November 15, 2023 between 12:30 to 1:20PM by Sam Huckerby. Sam Huckerby is the 2022-23 Misanchuck Memorial Award Winner in Art and Art History.

About the Exhibition

We live in an age of unprecedented technological innovation, ranging from powerful yet compact computing devices to medical diagnostic tools with impressive precision to pervasive artificial intelligence.  Yet, a lack of next-generation materials threatens to drive this innovation to a halt.  At the same time, emerging, powerful quantum devices such as quantum computers require wholly new thinking around the ways in which we understand and process information. USask's Signature Area of Research in Quantum Innovation and the Centre for Quantum Topology and Its Applications (quanTA) are bringing together experts from mathematics, physics, chemistry, computing, engineering, and other disciplines to work on all aspects of quantum computing, quantum materials, quantum sensing and imaging, and quantum technology development in general. We also aim to understand the social and economic impact of quantum ideas through a social sciences, humanities, and fine arts lens. 

The problems at hand are at once mathematical, physical, chemical, computational, and social and involve theory, simulation, and eventually realization.  The work of Quantum Innovation is convergent science, being directed by the cross-cutting problems we aim to solve rather than the traditional uses of the many individual methodologies we have at our disposal. 

One of these methodologies is art. Art has the capacity to take what words and equations cannot describe and reveal the hidden rhythms in the science behind our innovations.  We hope that this exhibition brings to each person who participates in it a sense of wonder and excitement — and perhaps a new understanding enabled by our attempts to visualize the quantum world of our near future. 

Featured Collection Works

Into the Dark (1973)

Oliver Bevan (1941-) is an English artist, who was born in Peterborough and educated at Eton College. After leaving school he spent a year (1959-60) working for Voluntary Service Overseas in British North Borneo before returning to London to study painting at the Royal College of Art (RCA), where he became strongly influenced by Op Art and in particular the work of Victor Vasarely. Bevan graduated from the RCA in 1964 and had his first exhibition of Op Art-inspired paintings the following year. Optical, geometric and kinetic art then served him well until the late 1970s when he moved to Saskatchewan for a two-year teaching post at the University of Saskatchewan. By the time he returned to London in 1979 he had abandoned abstract art in favour of figurative art and urban realism. 

Throughout his career his work has been dominated by a preoccupation with light. The play of light on forms and colours, the way light is reflected in water, the rhythm of light on the canvas, etc. Each series describes a period of his life. Since his first London exhibition in 1965 he has never stopped painting and exhibiting his art. Works by the artist can be found in many public collections in the U.K. and internationally. Bevan has lived and exhibited in the department of the Gard in Southern France since 2001.

Hexaplane Structurist Relief No. 2 (1998)

Eli Bornstein (1922-) was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He studied for a period at the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Chicago, before receiving his Bachelor of Science (1945) and Master of Science (1954) degrees from the University of Wisconsin. He also attended the Academie Montmarte of Fernand Leger (1951) and the Academie Julian (1952) in Paris. After teaching at the Milwaukee School of Arts (1943-47) and the University of Wisconsin (1949), Bornstein became professor emeritus of fine arts at the University of Saskatchewan, and has lived in Saskatoon ever since. He served as Head of the University Art Department (1963-72). Upon his retirement in 1990, he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Letters.

Bornstein is best known for abstract three-dimensional works, which he terms "structurist reliefs." Structurist Art is a post-war trend towards geometric abstraction. Bornstein contributed to the recognition of the genre internationally, through articles published in The Structurist, an international art journal he founded in 1960 and still edits today. Bornstein's work reflects his interests in both natural and built environments. 

Eli Bornstein is represented in the National Gallery of Canada, as well as numerous other public and private collections. His works have been shown internationally in both Canada and the United States. His large-scale commissions include an abstract construction for the Winnipeg airport (1962) and a four-part vertical construction for Regina's Wascana Centre Authority (1984). Bornstein's 15-foot aluminum construction, "The Tree of Knowledge," was commissioned by the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation (STF) and installed in downtown Saskatoon in 1957. It has since become widely used as a symbol of the STF. 

Green, Blue, Violet (2015)

See Nothing, See Everything #19 (2004)

Marie Lannoo (1954-) is a Canadian artist. Lannoo was born in Simcoe, Ontario in 1954 and raised in Delhi, Ontario. Lannoo studied at York University before moving to Saskatchewan in 1975, where she recieved her Bachelor of Arts Honours (1978) and her degree in Fine Arts from the University of Saskatchewan (1979). In 1980, Lannoo studied painting in Virton Belgium, and also attended the Banff School of Fine Arts. Lannoo participated in the Emma Lake Artists' Workshops during the years of 1981, 1983, 1984 and 2000. Lannoo received the Department of Culture and Youth Multicultural Bursary in 1979, the G. B. Poole Scholarship in 1980, and has received grants from the Saskatchewan Arts Board since 1980. 

Based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Lannoo is known for her abstract paintings. Her abstract work uses layered colours and the illusion of depth, and reflection. Her work has been collected nationally and internationally since 1980, including the Canada Council Art Bank, Government of Alberta, Saskatchewan Arts Board, SaskTel and the University of Saskatchewan. She exhibits locally, nationally and internationally and is represented by Galerie de Bellefeuille in Montreal, Newzones Gallery of Contemporary Art in Calgary, Alberta and Galerie Lausberg in Toronto, Ontario. 

Lannoo the is founder and curator of 330g, an independent project and studio space located in Saskatoon. 

Transparent Construction #3 (1978)

Terry Pope is a sculptor and maker of constructions, born in Cornwall, England in 1941. He studied at Bath Academy of Art at Corsham (1959-62), obtaining a Royal Netherlands Government Scholarship in the latter year, enabling him to study at Royal Academy of Fine Art in The Hague (1962-63).

Pope went on to teach at the University of Reading in 1968 and at Chelsea School of Art in 1975. He was interested in the rules of perspective and their modification and extending his experience of space to which end he invented experimental spectacles that altered the way we see. His work was included in Axiom Gallery’s Constructions ’66 show in 1966, and three years later he showed in the John Moores Exhibition 7, in Liverpool. Pope gained Arts Council Awards in 1974 and 1976 and a British Council Award in 1977. He had his first solo show at the Lucy Milton Gallery in 1974. Other important mixed shows including his work, of which the Arts Council has several examples, were the Hayward Gallery’s Hayward Annual in 1978 and Non-Standard Constructions at the Museum of Modern Art in Oxford in 1980. In 2008 his work was included in Art London, at the Royal Hospital Chelsea and British Abstract Art (1950-1985), at the Portland Gallery London. 

Pearls, light box (1996)

Patrick Traer has taught at the Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design, the University of Lethbridge, the University of Saskatchewan, and York University. He is best known for his large format drawings, embroidered textile works and upholstered sculptures which often extend into mixed media installations using video, photography, light-boxes, and blown glass. These works reference incubation periods, biological obsolescence, and mythologies of human anatomy. He holds a bachelor degree in English Literature from the University of Saskatchewan (1986), and an MFA in Visual Arts from York University (1990). His work has been exhibited widely across Canada and internationally at venues including The Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver, The Mendel Art Gallery in Saskatoon, The Walter Philips Gallery in Banff, The Dunlop Art Gallery in Regina, Plug-in in Winnipeg, YYZ in Toronto, the Sheehan Gallery in Washington, and The Walker Art Centre in Minneapolis. He has also received numerous awards including the Canada Council Paris Studio.

CTA-25 NEG. (1969)

Victor Vasarely (1906-1997) was born in Pécs, Hungary, spent his childhood in Slovakia and moved with his family to Budapest, Hungary in 1919. He began studying at the medical faculty only to leave after two years and in 1927 transferred to the Podolini-Volkmann Academy where he studied painting and modern art. He completed his studies (1929) at the Műhely Academy, known as the Budapest Bauhaus. Here he also made an acquaintance with modern trends and studies about colour and optics. In 1930, Vasarely moved to Paris, along with his wife, where he began working as a graphics designer and creative consultant at the advertising agencies Havas, Draeger and Devambez (1930–1935). During this time, Vasarely's interactions with other artists were very limited, so he played with the idea of opening up an institution modeled after the Műhely Academy. 

Vasarely eventually went on to produce art and sculpture mainly focused around the area of optical illusion, combining patterns and organic images with each other. Over the next three decades, Vasarely developed his style of geometric abstract art, working in various materials but using a minimal number of forms and colours. His first exhibition in the Denise René Gallery took place in the year 1944. Whereas his first paintings based upon geometric shapes, achieving optic-kinetic effects date from 1951.

Vasarely's paintings are very much in demand by museums as well as private collectors and are highly valued. The artist also received a range of prestigious awards including Guggenheim prizes, honorary citizenship of the city of New York and the order of the French Legion of Honour. Vasarely passed away from cancer in Paris in 1997. A Museum dedicated to his work was opened in the French town of Gordes between (1971-1996), followed by a Vasarely Museum in Pécs, Hungary in 1978 and in Budapest in 1987.

Depression + Liberation (1995)

Open Doors (1980)

Margot Wawra (1923-2014), who also went by the name “Mara,” was born in Landsberg, Germany, and studied writing before moving to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 1956. She worked as an art instructor with the YWCA for several years (1963-1967) and later studied at the University of Saskatchewan. She received a Bachelor of Arts in 1967 and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in 1968, studying with artists including Eli Bornstein, Otto Rogers, Stan Day, and Mina Forsyth. Wawra then went on to earn a Master of Art degree at California State University in Los Angeles (1970), studying with David Elder. Wawra then returned to Saskatoon, teaching at her Mara Art Studio and studying again at the University of Saskatchewan, earning a certificate in art education in 1974.

Wawra has been drawn to a variety of media, including painting, photography, and sculpture, and has exhibited her work across Saskatchewan since in 1963. She was also part of group and solo shows in Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia. Her work is represented in collections including the Mendel Art Gallery (Saskatoon), the University of Saskatchewan, and Saskatchewan Arts Board. In 1967, she won first prize at the Watrous Centennial Arts and Crafts Salon in Watrous, Saskatchewan.

Wawra lived in Saskatoon until 1980, and then moved to British Columbia, where she worked as an art teacher in Abbotsford.

About the Team

quanTA Centre 

Founded in 2019, the Centre for Quantum Topology and Its Applications (quanTA) at the University of Saskatchewan is bringing together experts from mathematics, physics, chemistry, computing, engineering, and other disciplines to work on all aspects of quantum computing, quantum materials, quantum sensing and imaging, and quantum technology development in general.  Part of our mission is to understand the social and economic impact of quantum ideas through a social sciences, humanities, and fine arts lens.

Anna Elliott 

Anna Elliott is a Graduate student in Regenerative Sustainability, currently working as the Outreach and Community Engagement Officer for the Centre for Quantum Topology and Its Applications (quanTA). Accumulating a diverse background of degree and certificate programs, Anna also has a previous Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, Bachelor of Fine Arts Honours, Certificate in Sustainability, and Certificate in Urban Design. She is a contemporary artist who combines inspiration and motifs from design, mathematics and nature into abstracted fine art works. Through the use of art Anna attempts to reach out to the public and bring them into the quantum world. In the future Anna hopes to combine both her aptitude in science and mathematics with her passion for the arts and design in a career that revolves around integrating sustainable residential and community design planning into the urban realm. 

jake moore

jake moore is an artist that works at the intersections of material, text, and vocality, a FRQSC supported PhD candidate in Art History and Communications at McGill University, and is currently Assistant Professor in Art & Art History and the director of University Art Galleries and Collections and at the University of Saskatchewan.

moore considers her primary medium to be space; this idea expands the understanding of her artistic practice to include administrative projects, curation and other acts of building capacity as a sculptural method – one that changes the form and volume of public spaces. Her large-scale and materially loaded site exhibitions are sensorially driven architectures, often using scent and sound or its absence as primary materials. Each articulated gesture is towards a methodology of listening.

Her SSHRC supported MFA, transceptive schematics, was completed at Concordia University where she also worked as research coordinator for Canada Research Chair for Inter-X Arts, Sandeep Bhagwati and the matralab, a research/creation center for intercultural and interdisciplinary arts, production team member of Studio subTela, developing intelligent cloth structures for the creation of artistic, performative and functional textiles.

Steven Rayan 

Dr. Steven Rayan (he/him) is a mathematician and mathematical physicist. Before arriving at the University of Saskatchewan in 2016, he earned his doctorate at the Mathematical Institute of the University of Oxford and then held a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Toronto. In his most recent research articles, he has been using algebraic geometry to discover new features of quantum physics, including quantum materials and quantum computing / information. His work in quantum materials has been highlighted in high-profile venues such as Scientific American. In the last five years, he has been the recipient of two research awards and two teaching awards at USask. Furthermore, one of his papers in the area of quantum materials was recently a finalist for the prestigious Cozzarelli Prize of the US National Academy of Sciences. 

Dr. Rayan serves in a few different roles at USask: Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Lead for the new Signature Area of Research in Quantum Innovation, Director of the Centre for Quantum Topology and Its Applications (quanTA), Director of Interdisciplinary Programming in the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, and Chair of the Mathematical Physics program. He enjoys these roles and finds tremendous synergy between them. Steven strives to support interdisciplinary, high-risk, high-reward research, and these efforts include serving as a co-chair of the national multidisciplinary review committee for the Tri-Agency's New Frontiers in Research Fund (Exploration Stream) in recent years. Saskatchewan has been an especially inspiring place for Steven to further his perspective and research. With its tall grasses, pristine lakes, and glimmering sky, this is the right place to think big!