TABLE OF CONTENTSCollection Summary
Michael Bidner fonds:
Michael Bidner (1944-1989), Canadian graphic artist and painter, is noted for his use of xerox and microfilm technology. Bidner's interest in reproduced imagery complimented his involvement with mail art. In 1972, he founded Cloud Productions, a mail art style artist publication project in Vancouver, B.C. His last project involved the complete cataloguing and exhibition of his own large collection of mail art artist stamps (artistamps). The project was completed posthumously, as a tribute, after Bidner died of AIDS in 1989. Bidner exhibited works on an ongoing basis and participated in various community arts projects and art education endeavours. He briefly taught art at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario (1973). Over the course of his career, he corresponded with art institutions, artists, and friends.
The collection consists of mail art designed by Michael Bidner, including mailings that Bidner prepared for the National Gallery of Canada's documentation files. There is also correspondence and mailings received by Bidner from Canadian poet and playwright Paul Stoesser; British friends of the artist in Vancouver; Glenice and Charles Jones (including a photograph of Glenice Jones); Canadian artist Wyn Geleynse (1947- ); Canadian artist and Gallery director Flavio Belli (1950-); Canadian artist Robert John and his wife Marie Fortin John; Canadian artist Yosef Drenters (1931-1983); Canadian artist Philip Aziz (1923- ); and American illustrator Barry Zaid. The fonds includes professional correspondence relating to Bidner's career, materials from the New York Corres "sponge" dance of Vancouver mail art movement, and 'complete and return' forms for mail art projects. There are also materials relating to various exhibitions and community arts programmes in which the artist was involved, including: the Artistamp Project, Artario '72, Nancy Poole Studios, the Canadian Gypsy Field Research Project, the Great Canadian Supershow of Canadian Ideas, the Polyglot Gallery, and the "Newborn" project. The fonds also includes material related to Bidner's participation in the arts in the schools programme in Lambton County, Ontario (1972) and his teaching experience at Fanshawe College, as well as miscellaneous exhibition related materials and newspaper and magazine clippings. There are miscellaneous photographs, including 1 photograph of a work by Bidner and 1 photograph of Bidner as a child in the fonds.
Source of supplied title proper: Title based on contents of fonds.
Donated to the National Gallery of Canada (1972-1984) by Michael Bidner in response to the National Gallery of Canada's request for documentary information on his work. Part of the fonds was created by Bidner as mail art in response to that request.
[Title of item], Michael Bidner fonds, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives.
Head, Archives, Documentation and Visual Resources
Library and Archives
National Gallery of Canada
380 Sussex Drive
P.O. Box 427, Station A
Detailed Description of the Collection