Cliff Eyland is a painter, writer, and curator. He studied at Holland College, Mount Allison University, and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Since 1981, he has made paintings, drawings, and notes in an index card format- 3”x5” (7.6 x 12.7).
Eyland has shown his work in public and secret installations in art galleries and libraries in Canada, the United States, and Europe. Exhibition highlights include solo exhibitions at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, The New School University in New York, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, Struts Gallery and Gallery Connexion (both in New Brunswick), the Muttart (now the Art Gallery of Calgary), the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, eyelevelgallery, Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery and Dalhousie Art Gallery.
Group exhibitions include shows at the National Gallery of Canada, in Florence, Italy, Manchester, England, and Lublin, Poland, among others. In 2003, Eyland was short listed for the national RBC/Canadian Art Foundation painting award. Eyland’s ongoing installation at the Raymond Fogelman Library at the New School University in New York was regularly updated from 1997 until 2005. His permanent installation of over 1000 paintings at Winnipeg’s Millennium Library opened in 2005.
Eyland has written criticism for Canadian art magazines since 1983. His curatorial work includes 9 years as a curator at the Technical University of Nova Scotia School of Architecture (Daltech) and freelance work for various galleries, Including the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art in Winnipeg. (From 1965 to 2005, Eyland was vice-president of the board of Pug In.)
Cliff Eyland is currently an Associate Professor and Director of Gallery One One One at the University of Manitoba School of Art in Winnipeg.
George Toles and Cliff Eyland are working on a publication of Facebook posts through 2012-13. Check Facebook and/or view a ten page sample here (5 MB PDF).
Eyland has received a large public art commission for the new Meadows Library in Edmonton to be completed in 2013. You can track progress on that work by visiting this Edmonton Meadows Paintings Picasa page.
He is working on a proposal (29 MB PDF), so far not actually proposed to any gallery, for an installation in Venice, Italy that would be composed of postcards distributed on city streets. The project would silently bring attention to the fact that Venetian streets have already been "tagged" with Cliff Eyland's "CE" initials.
Cliff Eyland and Dr. Jeanne Randolph will be showing and performing their proposal for "Your Own Grad School" at the Modern Fuel Gallery in Kingston, Canada in 2013.
Eyland recreated a "Schutz-Pass" or passport in 2010 that was originally made by Roaul Wallenberg in Budapest in 1944 in order to save Jewish residents from deportation. He has been organizing parties in 2012 in which participants fill in their own Pass. Download an 11"x18" version (1.8 MB PDF), which includes English instructions, here.
Eyland had a solo exhibition of his Li'l Monolith works along with a book (10 MB PDF) about the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design at the Anna Leonowens Gallery in Halifax in 2012, where he was a visiting artist.
Eyland gave a talk about his work at the University of Iceland – University of Manitoba 2012 Partnership Conference at the University of Iceland in Reykjavík, August 23–24. Click here (41 MB PDF) to view images.
He has a solo exhibiton/installation/residency 26-28 October 2012 at the library of the National Gallery of Canada organized by Peter Trepanier. In addition to showing paintings in vitrines and a new 12"x18" loose leaf book, he will be inserting 1000 file card drawings(25 MB PDF) in National Gallery library books. View a PDF of Eyland's artist's book here (10 MB PDF).
In November 1-2, 2012 he will give a paper on "The Artist as Academic" at the UAAC-AAUC Conference at Concordia University in Montreal.
Eyland's preview of the September/October 2012 Glen Johnson/Leslie Supnet Gallery 1C03 exhibition for Gallerieswest magazine
Eyland has written a review of Garry Neill Kennedy's book The Last Art College for Border Crossings magazine.
He has also written an essay for a survey of contemporary Canadian art for the 2012-13 exhibition at MASS MoCA Oh Canada, curated by Denise Markonish.
Cliff Eyland was the director of Gallery One One One at the University of Manitoba when it became perhaps the first public museum to commit itself to electronic publication. The gallery was closed and replaced by the School of Art Gallery in 2011 and Eyland is working on maintaining its website.
Eyland was involved in several group exhibitions in 2011, including the travelling Winnipeg Art Gallery show called Bestial Encounters, 1 April to 12 June.
Winter Kept Us Warm and the Border Crossings Study Centre were shown in Paris the summer of 2011 at the Maison Rouge museum and in Sert, France. This work is travelling to several Canadian venues in 2012-13. (Eyland commissioned the BCSC as director of Gallery One One One -- it was a collaboration involving Meeka Walsh, Niel Minuk, Eduardo Aquino and Karen Shanski)
Howard Gurevich Fine Art in Winnipeg hosted a solo exhibition of Eyland's work in September 2011 entitled "Cliff Eyland: Books and Graffiti Book Paintings."(View the Gurevich press release here.)
Eyland was in two group exhibitions at Katzman Kamen Gallery in 2011. Here is a PDF of contents of the "Library Book Box" (3.7 MB PDF) that he showed there 26 March to 3 April, 2011 in a show called Faves.
The Abzurbs performed and exhibited at Prairie Scene at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa and at Axeneo7 in Gatineau at the end of April 2011 in a show curated by J.J. Kegan McFadden: for images, have a look at this Picasa page of performance photos by William Eakin and paintings that Eyland showed at Axeneo7 as part of the Abzurbs exhibition.
Saint Mary's University Art Gallery in Halifax acquired works by Eyland in 2011. Click here (6.2 MB PDF) to view a PDF of the loose leaf book pages that accompanied the works.
Eyland designed a book by Birna Bjarnadottir in 2010:
View a PDF of a book of fragments with an introduction by George Toles and illustrations by Guy Maddin, Cliff Eyland and Haraldur Jonsson. (7 MB)
Cliff Eyland and Guy Maddin created a series of wordless 12"x18" loose leaf books that were shown at the New York Art Book Fair in November 2010, at the Art Gallery at York University in 2011.