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Item Name: Sculpture
Title: Prairie Giant F, Saskatchewan Road Map Series
Maker: Ronald Kostyniuk
Year: 2005
Country: Canadian
Materials: spray enamel on MDF
Measurements: overall: 25 cm x 7.5 cm x 8.125 cm
ID Number: PC2008.17

Extended Label Info: These ten brightly coloured geometric shapes are variations on the silhouette of the grain elevator. Their simplified forms reflect the influence of Constructivism and Structurism on the Kostyniuk’s style of working. These early twentieth century art movements sought to understand how meaning is conveyed by breaking down visual information into symbolic elements. The grain elevator has an iconic shape, and was once part of every town in southern Saskatchewan. These unusual wooden structures stored grain before it shipped by rail to market. Up to 100 feet tall, the elevators became known as “Prairie Giants” or “Sentinels”. The railway, the post-office and the grain elevator were at the economic heart of prairie agriculture in the twentieth century. Particularly in the early settler days before telephones became widespread, the elevator site was a social hub for farmers bringing grain to sell, and buying new supplies. Today, elevators, small farms and small towns are slowly disappearing. Agriculture is more mechanized, and grain is shipped via truck to huge inland terminals. Ronald Kostyniuk (1941 - ) was born in Wakaw, Saskatchewan. Kostyniuk earned a BA in Biology and a BEd from the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon (1963); a BFA from the University of Alberta, Edmonton (1969); an MSc (1970) and an MFA (1971) from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI USA. In Saskatoon, Kostyniuk became inspired by the writings of the American artist Charles Biederman, whose analytical approach to art struck a chord with Kostyniuk's own scientific background, and inspired him to develop art based on the patterns in nature. Kostyniuk is currently retired from the University of Calgary and lives in Calgary. Elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Art in 1975, he has exhibited internationally, and his work is represented in numerous collections including the Institute of Modern Art (Chicago), Canada Council Art Bank (Ottawa), MacKenzie Art Gallery (Regina), Winnipeg Art Gallery, and Museum of Modern Art (Germany).