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Pierre Vassura


December 8, 2018 - January 6, 2019


Opening reception: Saturday, December 8, 2pm-5pm


Duplex is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Richmond-based artist, Pierre Vassura.


Vassura’s work employs a lexicon of abstracted figuration adapted to the context of the stories and subjects he explores in his artwork. Vassura refers to this relation of image to story as “analogical formalism”. Works in this exhibition include selections from Analogies 1, which consists of Vassura’s depictions of various animals and mythical creatures, as well as a series of analogies for The Book of Genesis. In addition, two small terracotta sculptures act as miniature monuments: one titled Corda which translates to English as rope, but also implies the vocal cords, and the other titled Labios meaning lips. These works are in keeping with Vassura’s larger scale sculptures which often pay tribute to important aspects of human development, such as his monument to the Ox, which honors the role these animals played in the history of agriculture.


Pierre Vassura was born Romagna, Italy in 1935. The son of an architect and teacher, he enrolled in agricultural studies following the death of his father at age thirteen. Farming was not his passion however, and at age twenty Vassura moved to France in search of artistic experiences. He first secured work as a ceramic designer at the Faiencerie de St. Clement, and later a ceramic studio in Cote d’Azure, Vallauris-Juan les Pins. Vassura became a technical and production expert in several ceramic factories in Switzerland, France, Italy and Israel and he participated in Israel’s vibrant emerging ceramics industry with Palceramic in Haifa. With the Beit-Hagefen Art Gallery, Vassura first exhibited his paintings in Tel-Aviv and Haifa from 1963 to 1965. In this fruitful period, Vassura also met his future wife, Fotiny with whom he would have two children. In the early 1980’s Vassura and his family moved to Richmond, BC. Apart from a 2002 exhibit at Vancouver’s Italian Cultural Centre, Vassura has not shown the distinct and vast body of work he’s produced while in BC. This exhibition and Pierre Vassura: New Work 1983 – 2018 at the Richmond Art Gallery (December 1, 2018 – January 20, 2019) constitute the first major showings of his work since arriving in Canada in the early 80s.


This exhibition was opened in conjunction with a parallel show of Vassura's work at the Richmond Art Gallery.


Curated by Eli Bornowsky and Jonathan Middleton.