The Americas

Jon Pylypchuk

Born 1972, Canada

Born in Winnipeg in 1972, Jon Pylypchuk studied at the University of Manitoba School of Art, where he co-founded the collective known as the Royal Art Lodge in 1996 with fellow artists Michael Dumontier, Marcel Dzama, Neil Farber, Drue Langlois and Adrian Williams. Its members were mostly graduates from the University of Manitoba, Canada who were united in their outsider status and who liked to break the unwritten rules of artistic production. They sent childlike drawings to the National Gallery of Canada, suggesting they exhibit them, and held all-night drawing sessions. In 1998 he moved to Los Angeles, where he is currently based. Since coming to international attention in the past 6 years he has exhibited in New York, Düsseldorf, Münster, London, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Paris, San Francisco, Miami Tokyo, Montreal, Seoul and St Petersburg. His works are in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Saatchi Collection, The Mori Museum and the Whitney Museum, New York.

Pylypchuk is a multidisciplinary artist who works in painting, sculpture, installation and video. Working with simple materials (fake fur, wood, fabric, sheet metal, beer cans, electric light bulbs, polyurethane foam, etc.), Pylypchuk reinterprets the collage and bricolage practices derived from Art Brut. Often his ‘creatures’ draw upon the animal world to explore the frailty of human existence and social relationships. Pylypchuk’s characters often seem to have lost their way, appearing in a wounded condition, harmed by either themselves or by others. They combine a hearty dose of cynicism and anger at the unfairness of it all with a wicked sense of survivalist humour.

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