Since the late 1980s, Stan Douglas has created films, photographs, and installations that reexamine particular locations or past events. His works often take their points of departure in local settings, from which broader issues can be identified. Making frequent use of both analog and digital technologies, Douglas appropriates existing Hollywood genres (including murder mysteries and the Western) and borrows from classic literary works (notably, Samuel Beckett, Herman Melville, and Franz Kafka) to create ready-made contextual frameworks for his complex, reimagined narratives that pertain to particular locations or past events.
Douglas was born in 1960 in Vancouver, where he continues to live and work. He studied at Emily Carr College of Art in Vancouver. Douglas was one of the first artists to be represented by David Zwirner, where he had his first American solo exhibition in 1993. Opening in 2018, the gallery will present an exhibition of new photographs by the artist, marking his fifteenth solo show with David Zwirner. Douglas’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at prominent institutions worldwide, including the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (1987); Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (1994; traveled to Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; Kunsthalle Zürich; Witte de With, Rotterdam; Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst e.V. Galerie, Berlin as Stan Douglas and Diana Thater); Serpentine Gallery, London (2002); kestnergesellschaft, Hanover (2004); The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2005); Staatsgalerie Stuttgart and Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart (2007); The Power Plant, Toronto (2011); Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minnesota (2012); Canadian Cultural Centre, Paris (2013); The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh (2014); and Museu Coleção Berardo, Lisbon (2015). In 2013, a major survey of the artist’s work, Stan Douglas: Photographs 2008-2013, was presented at Carré d’Art - Musée d’Art Contemporain in Nîmes, France. It traveled as Stan Douglas: Mise en scène through 2015 to Haus der Kunst, Munich, followed by Nikolaj Kunsthal, Copenhagen and Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin.
In 2015, The Secret Agent, Douglas’s six-channel video installation adapted from 1907 political novel of the same title by Joseph Conrad, premiered as part of Stan Douglas: Interregnum at Wiels Centre d’Art Contemporain, Brussels. The film installation traveled to Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg in 2016.
Helen Lawrence is a multimedia theatre work conceived by Douglas. Created in close collaboration with acclaimed screenwriter Chris Haddock, the project innovatively merges theatre, visual art, live-action filming, and computer-generated imagery. Since the inaugural presentation at The Arts Club Theatre Company, Vancouver in March 2014, Helen Lawrence has been hosted by the Münchner Kammerspiele, Munich; Edinburgh International Festival; Canadian Stage, Toronto; Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York; deSingel, Antwerp; and Center for the Art of Performance, University of California, Los Angeles (co-organized by Los Angeles County Museum of Art).
Douglas has been the recipient of notable awards, including the Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography (2016); the third annual Scotiabank Photography Award (2013); and the Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography, New York (2012).
Major museum collections which hold works by the artist include the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Tate Gallery, London; Vancouver Art Gallery; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota.