Ian van Coller

Ian van Coller is a white South African who grew up during apartheid; much of his work relates to this childhood experience as well as the guilt associated with this and a greater colonial legacy.  Several bodies of work, including Memory Boards, Natural History, and Mali Monuments underline the difference between the colonial and the "true African" perspectives and address duality of place, vantage, and history.  


More recently, van Coller has executed work with a greater sense of global stewardship and deep sense of time; he has focused on climate change, specifically glacial melting and the deep sense of time they represent.  He is currently collaborating with research scientists funded by NSF and NOAA who are studying Tropical Glaciers.  A selection of work from his Kilimanjaro: The Last Glacier and The Transparency of Ice follow.

Van Coller often hybridizes his images, using collage, digital collage, and especially bookmaking to realize his works.  His artists books are among his most celebrated works, and a form he often uses to convey his artistic vision.  For van Coller his bodies of work are most potent in their entirety as a book, but he almost always makes images available as loose prints.

Van Coller teaches at Montana State University.  His work is in such notable public collections as the Birmingham Museum of Art; Durban Art Gallery, South Africa; Getty, Los Angeles; Johannesburg Art Gallery; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City; New York Public Library; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art; South African National Gallery, Cape Town; Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography Library, Tokyo; among others.


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