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Item Name: Mixed Media
Title: K.K.K.
Maker: Russell Yuristy
Year: 1968
Country: Canadian
Materials: mixed media
Measurements: in frame: 35 cm x 41.3 cm; work: 25.4 cm x 31 cm
ID Number: ART 013
Legal Status: ART RENTAL


Extended Label Info: Russell Yuristy’s artwork is diverse, inventive and experimental. This mixed-media drawing shows his playful approach to composition. First, he used an image transfer of a magazine photo to create a portrait in ghostly triplicate. The thoughtful looking woman pictured is very reminiscent of the French actress, Catherine Deneuve, famous for her role in the film “Belle de Jour” directed by Luis Buñuel (1967). Though the title of this drawing is similar to the initials of the racist supremacist group, the Klu Klux Klan, no connection was intended. It refers to the repetition of shapes at the top of the drawing which appear to be made as a rubbing from a capital letter K, such as the cursive style “K” in the Kellog’s cereal logo. Placed backwards, rubbed and stenciled, the letters become a series of abstract curves. Yuristy’s repetition of the face and the organic shapes is similar to another artist’s work from the 1960s: Michael Snow’s “Walking Woman” series (1961-67). In this set of pop-art works, Snow used a simple silhouette of a woman to experiment with different mediums to create a series of related drawings, prints, films, sculptures, and paintings. Russell Yuristy (1936- ) was born in Goodeve, Saskatchewan. He graduated with a degree in English and Creative Writing from the University of Saskatchewan (1959) before studying art at the University of Wisconsin (1967). Yuristy was part of a group of artists inspired by the irreverent humour of the Funk Art movement brought to Regina by ceramicist David Gilhooly in the 1970’s. After teaching art in Regina and coordinating workshops at Emma Lake, Yuristy moved to Stilton, Saskatchewan and began designing and constructing large playground structures. Yuristy’s playful designs defined many iconic spaces in the prairies, such as the red and white striped climbing “trees” in Regina’s Candy Cane Park, and the metal elephant Rusty on the north side of RPL Central Library. Although his sculptural play-spaces have been replaced as parks get updated, his approach was part of a revolution in public design. Today, Yuristy is known as a printmaker, painter and teacher whose works are based on the land and animal life around him. His artwork has been exhibited nationally and is held in the numerous public and private collections, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Mendel Art Gallery Collection at Remai Modern, and the Canada Council Art Bank.