World-renowned artist and author Douglas Coupland has revealed his vision for Calgary with his first large-scale public artwork in Alberta. The installation, entitled “Interpretation of Calgary, Alberta in the 21st Century,” is 4.9-metres high and 4.1-metres wide and will be part of Qualex-Landmark‘s Mark on 10th condo tower.
With the piece, Coupland has created a portrait of Calgary using a series of colour codes, investigating the flora, fauna and institutions of the city on a purely optical level. For example, magpies, wild roses and curling are all reduced to a set of three rings with a centre that relays to viewers a shorthand for what exists in the local world.
“It’s a distillation of Calgary that is both part of the modern world, yet also eternal,” Coupland said of his piece in a statement. “It is a work that engages the viewer in an ongoing challenge to identify and remember what is depicted — almost like a chocolate box and its map. The forms become signs that will, across time, mellow and ripen within a viewer’s memory, also acting as a smart and anticipated ‘welcome home’ moment.”
The internationally renowned Coupland has had his work published in 30 countries and translated into 22 languages. He has published a collection of short stories, seven nonfiction books, a number of screenplays for film and television, and thirteen novels.
With the recent unveiling of Spanish artist Jaume Plensa’s new sculpture, “Wonderland” at The Bow and artworks like “Promenade” by London LED artist Julian Opie, located in the East Village, art is increasingly contributing to Calgary’s changing urban landscape — as it is in cities across Canada.
Developer Qualex-Landmark commissioned Coupland to do the artwork to participate in the emerging Design District around 10 Avenue SW in the Beltline of Calgary’s downtown.
“Douglas Coupland has a very unique view of the world, and his depiction of Calgary in this artwork is fascinating,” Qualex-Landmark‘s managing director Mohammed Esfahani said in a statement. “The artistic element of the Design District makes this area of the city unique and popular. We want Mark on 10th to contribute to this uniqueness and are excited to be working with one of Canada’s most acclaimed artists,” he said. (Click here to see more examples of Coupland’s public artwork across Canada.)
Mark on 10th, located at the corner of 10th Avenue and 8th Street SW, is Qualex-Landmark‘s fifth residential development in Calgary’s Beltline District. One and two-bedroom homes in the mixed-use high-rise tower are now selling starting from the low $200,000’s. The tower is scheduled for completion in 2015.
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