Walter May amalgamates “curious objects”—obsolete, derelict, and disconnected from their original functionality— into unconventional sculptures that challenge the viewer to derive meaning from the assemblage. Salvaged from junk shops, flea markets, and neighbourhood alleyways, these objects are laden with history but past their usefulness. “Right away, you understand what [the object] is,” says May. “[But] it’s kind of obsolete. It’s passed its lifespan….what it was, is not the most important part of it anymore….It’s refusing to be utilitarian. That really appeals to me.” By probing the changing nature of sculpture with such non-traditional materials, May produces a fresh take on traditional ideas: form as metaphor, the placement of objects in space, and the aesthetics of visual ambiguity.
May graduated with a BFA from the University of Alberta (1971) and an MFA from the University of Regina (1977). He has recently retired from teaching primarily in the sculpture program at ACAD. While an instructor, May also served for three terms as President of the ACAD Faculty Association, and as the faculty representative to the ACAD Board of Governors from 1991 to 1993.
Although May is known as a sculptor, his practice also includes drawing, photography, installations, and even performance art. He has held over two dozen solo and group exhibitions regionally and nationally, including the Alberta Biennial in 1998 and 2010. International exhibitions include showing at: Chateau Matheau, Normandy, France (2009); Kling and Bang Gallery,
Reykjavik, Iceland (2009); Lui Haisu Arts Museum, Shanghai, China (2008); Galeria Klimy, Warsaw, Poland (2005). May’s work is represented in collections such as: Alberta Art Foundation; Nickle Galleries, University of Calgary; Art Gallery of Alberta; Canada Council Art Bank; Glenbow Museum; University of Lethbridge; University of Regina; Honens. May was recently commissioned to produce a four part sculpture and associated limited edition digital print portfolio for the 2012 Honens International Piano Competition.
Walter May “High Chairs” (hat and globe)
17″ x 21″ Short Stool 18″ x 28″ Tall Stool Metal Stools with Metal Objects
Live Auction Lot #19
Fair Market Value $4000