This week’s Artwork Wednesday will be dedicated to Jim Logan’s piece entitled A Re-Thinking on the Western Front. This large-scale work is currently on display with the Locate exhibition and is a part of the Yukon Arts Centre Permanent Collection.

With Métis heritage, Logan grew up in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia and at a young age was encouraged to pursue painting by his mother.  Logan followed his artistic inclination and travelled to Europe to study the work of Van Gogh and Edvard Munch. It  is possible that during this time, Logan began to take notice of what he describes as “the European ego.” As it can be seen in A Re-Thinking on the Western Front, the artist challenges the viewer by redefining a familiar and iconographic image. Housed in the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam serves as the basis of Logan's statement. The artist is addressing the art historical canon that defines what constitutes an artistic “masterpiece.” Logan’s piece speaks to the lack of diversity amongst art and artists that are held within internationally renowned collections.

Logan draws refrence to Michelangelo's 'Creation of Adam' from the Sistine Chapel 

The power of this work begins with its sheer size and ostentatious gilded frame that is reminiscent of the coveted paintings produced during the time of antiquity. Logan replaces the image of God and Adam with First Nations figures and furthers his message by depicting God in female form. The bold primary colours play into the mocking naivety that the artist conjures through the text portion of the composition. Towards the upper left-hand corner we can read “Sorry Charlie D. I don’t believe in such a theory” and “gee is that me?” under a Darwinian-style illustration of human evolution. Logan’s playful tone further dethrones the European dominance that he believes has translated itself into various aspects of culture and thought throughout North America. 

Learn more about Jim Logan here.

Take a virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel here.

Gallery Intern, Gabriella, stands next to Logan's large-scale piece on display in the Locate exhibition.