Michael Bidner: Raw Catalogue Launch

Saturday, May 25, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

London artist Michael Bidner (1944-1989) was a pioneer of print media in Canada. However, he remains largely absent from the national art narrative. His innovative contributions to printmaking, mail art, and xerography were informed by the world of commercial art, magazine publishing, and imagery from the gay community and the punk scene during the 1970s and 80s.

He famously acquired the first colour Xerox machine in Canada directly from the company itself and went on to host an all night print party in the basement of McIntosh Gallery at Western University. Throughout his short career Bidner, who died of AIDS in 1989, created an extraordinary and dynamic body of work that foreshadowed later developments in alternative culture.

An early proponent of the zine movement, his publications 'Adz', 'Rag' and 'RUDE' were characterized by their bold, irregular, and hilarious content. His innovative work in the gay community and the marginalized communities of DIY print production continue to resonate in current artistic practices, demonstrating the prescience of his work.

This catalogue is published in conjunction with the first retrospective of Bidner’s work, 'Michael Bidner: Raw', curated by Jason Dickson and presented at McIntosh Gallery, London, Ontario, from January 25 to March 24, 2018, and Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery, Halifax, Nova Scotia from January 18 to March 15, 2020.