Jana Sterbak needs little introduction. One of the most exciting, and often controversial of Canada's contemporary artists, she continues to challenge, and provoke, with her diverse artwork. She does not limit herself to one medium - her scope is too large - and creates sculptures, installations, photography and video, as well as staging performances. In 2003, she represented Canada at the 50th Venice Biennale at the Canadian Pavilion with her video production, From Here to There, made from footage taken by a camera strapped to a small dog let 'loose' on the streets of the city.
Born in Prague in 1955, Sterbak brings to her production a particular aesthetic that weaves through her oeuvre. She does not shy from using unconventional materials such as hair or bread, and it is hard to forget her shocking Vanitas: Flesh Dress for an Albino Anorectic (1987) in the form of a garment sewn from raw flanks of meat. (It was to be worn some time later by Lady Gaga at the 2010 MTV Music Video Awards). Echoes of Kafka, Kundera, great Czech writers, can be found in her works, tinged with irony and pessimism. Many of her creations are ephemeral in nature, thought provoking, and often lyrical. She moves easily from stylized, esoteric works to delicate drawings; from large scale projects, to small, whimsical enigmatic objects, making her one of the most exciting and audacious of contemporary artists. Shocking or seductive, her art leaves no one indifferent. Allowing the viewer to interpret her work, she once said: "I believe the didactic has no place in art."
Sterbak's intense ploughing of the human condition, her focus on the human body, and the conceptual diversity of her artistic expression, has garnered the artist international fame, and numerous awards, notably the Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts (2012). She has now also been honoured by the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec with the title of Compagne des arts et des lettres du Québec, another accolade on a long list.

In Montreal, Jana Sterbak is represented by:
Galerie Laroche/Joncas
410-372 Ste Catherine W
Montreal, QC
larochejoncas.com(lien externe)

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Photo credit: Jana Sterbak, Sleep 2018