Opening Thursday, May 15, 8pm.
“Many people look at a piece and ask, ‘How long did that take?’ The answer of course is irrelevant, and coming up with a cheeky response is essential to anyone who has attempted to survive by their wits.”
Robert Chaplin, on the title “About Time”
UNIT/PITT is pleased to present a survey exhibition of the work of Vancouver artist Robert Chaplin. As the show’s title implies, it is a long-overdue critical look at the prolific and varied work he has produced, including works in stone, paper, canvas, and metal.
Chaplin is well known for his artist’s books which include Teeny Ted from Turnip Town (2007), the world’s smallest book as certified by the Guinness Book of World Records (also available in a large-print edition published in 2012). Besides books, he works in hard stone, cast metal, painting, and drawing. Armed with a keen sense of irony and a disregard for convention and authority, Chaplin is single-minded and relentless in his attention to materials, and to the realization of new ideas in physical form.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a new book by Robert Chaplin, Sorry I’m Not Sorry (co-published by UNIT/PITT and Publication Studio Vancouver), and A Dossier Against Cynicism: Two Essays for Robert Chaplin, a critical volume by Jerry Zaslove. Both books will launch at the opening on Thursday, May 15, at 8pm
Robert Chaplin is an artist and publisher currently based in Vancouver. His practice includes carving gem stones, making sculptures, drawing pictures, writing stories, and publishing books. He holds the Guinness World Record for publishing the world’s smallest book. He studied Fine Art at the University of Victoria, and was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 2004.
Jerry Zaslove is a teacher and writer who studied Comparative Literature at Western Reserve University and the University of Washington. Since 1965 he has taught Literature, Humanities, and the Social History of Art at Simon Fraser University. His publications include writings about contemporary visual art, literature, and critical theory, including recent writings on the work of artists such as Jeff Wall and Alex Morrison.