People / Joan Balzar

Artist. Born in 1928, Joan Balzar graduated from the Vancouver School of Art (now Emily Carr University of Art + Design) (1957) and also studied in Paris (1957), Mexico (1959), and Guatemala (1959). Balzar was a prominent member of the Vancouver scene during the 1960s—when she had several exhibitions and was included in important group shows—and was a key figure in the development of West Coast abstract painting. In her work, Balzar incorporated a Minimalist interest in mass-produced industrial materials, specifically, neon, while continuing to explore the possibilities of psychological manipulation through color, light, and spatial illusion. The result is work that moves beyond the conventional frame of painting, attempting to create a more experiential relationship, strongly related to the ideas of Marshall McLuhan and the psychedelic movement. Her work is included in private and public collections both nationally and internationally. Balzar lives and works in West Vancouver and is represented by the Elliot Louis Gallery.

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