University of Calgary

Nickle Galleries presents the sketches of Arthur Erickson

Exhibition in the Nickle Galleries showcases drawings for eight projects by the famed Canadian architect

Oct. 25, 2013

A new exhibition at the University of Calgary's Nickle Galleries helps reveal the creative process behind the work of the celebrated Canadian architect. Layered landscapes: Constructing form and meaning from the sketches of Arthur Erickson examines the intricate sketches to eight projects from perhaps Canada's greatest 20th century architect.

The selected projects include some of his early residential projects, such as the Filberg House and the first Smith Residence, and also larger institutional projects that cemented his national reputation, such as Simon Fraser University. In his career, the late Erickson designed landmark buildings such as the Canadian embassy in Washington, DC, the new headquarters for the Bank of Canada in Ottawa and Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto.

"The Canadian Architectural Archives at the University of Calgary is the largest collection of the works of Canadian architects and their firms in Canada and the world, and of course, the work of Arthur Erickson is among the best known nationwide," says Tom Hickerson, vice-provost and university librarian at the University of Calgary.

The exhibition - co-curated by Linda Fraser and Geoffrey Simmins - focuses on sketches as artifacts of the design process, as a kind of intermediate architecture that reveals inspiration and potential. Contemporary architects and artists have added a crucial and critical interpretive layer to the exhibition.

The Marc Boutin Architectural Collaborative has designed a group of eight vitrines for the display of the drawings, allowing the use of light and overlap to reveal both the crafting of the architectural drawings and ideas in a parallel process, while the incorporated videos commissioned by videographer and photographer Brian Shier explore the tactile experience of selected spaces.

WHAT:  Layered landscapes: Constructing form and meaning from the sketches  
       of Arthur Erickson.                                                  
WHEN:  Opening reception Friday, October 25, 5 pm.                          
       Exhibit runs until January 4, 2014.                                  
WHERE: Nickle Galleries, Taylor Family Digital Library, 410 University Court