Ian Wallace is a celebrated artist and teacher, best known as a founding member of what has come to be recognized as the Vancouver school of photoconceptualism. Wallace graduated from the University of British Columbia in 1968 with a master’s in art history; from there, he began his teaching career, starting at UBC and soon moving to the Vancouver School of Art (now the Emily Carr University of Art and Design), where he remained until his retirement in 1998 and was among the first to teach courses on recent developments in the visual arts. Wallace was a teacher and mentor to such younger artists as Jeff Wall, Ken Lum, Stan Douglas and Rodney Graham. As an artist, his work was also instructive: he set precedents by blowing up photographs to scales typically associated with history painting, and by uniting these images—documents from the news or the everyday—with minimalist, monochrome painting. Wallace won a Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts in 2004. In 2012, the Vancouver Art Gallery presented a career retrospective, “Ian Wallace: At the Intersection of Painting and Photography.”
Wallace has exhibited painting and photography nationally and internationally since 1965. He is known for juxtaposing monochrome painting and photography in a way that problematizes the differences between the two mediums, referencing aesthetic and social issues through themes of the studio, the museum and the street. Ian’s series “Study for le Mepris” can be found on the second floor of Fairmont Pacific Rim.