Peter Powning

John Leroux
Peter Powning (English/French)
192 page hardcover
Published: November 17, 2020
Non-Fiction / Art & Architecture
Hardcover: 9781773101927 $45.00


“I start with an original object, break it, and transform parts of the piece into other materials. These pieces gather meaning and explanation as I work with them.”

Peter Powning is simultaneously referred to as a sculptor and a ceramist, but his art does not fit easy categorization, incorporating and combining elements from one medium into another. His work challenges the viewer to reconsider the object, its form, and its function. This inventiveness has resulted in numerous exhibitions, awards, and commissions for public art sculptures throughout Canada.

Featuring 175 full-colour images of Powning’s work along with essays by curators and critics, Peter Powning celebrates the career of one of Canada’s finest visual artists and accompanies a major retrospective exhibition organized by the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, opening in September 2020.

Listen to interviews with Peter about the book

CBC Radio: Shift – NB
CBC Radio – Information Morning: St. John
This is a link to a discussion with John Leroux with Peter and Beth Powning about the book. It’s from a book launch on Zoom complete with unexplained silences and various glitches but encapsulates not only a personal discussion about life as artists but also the technical peculiarities resulting from trying to carry on in the midst of a pandemic. The sound disappears for a minute or so at one point but does come back.


The latest collaboration between Goose Lane Editions and art historian John Leroux focuses on the work of Markhamville sculptor and ceramist Peter Powning. 

by Matt Carter

While any long list of complimentary adjectives could be employed to describe Goose Lane Editions’ recent publication Peter Powning, A Retrospective, art historian John Leroux says it all in his introduction where he writes, Peter Powning has established himself not only as the dean of New Brunswick sculptures and fine craft artists, but also one of the most inquisitive polymaths in Canadian art.  Across nearly two hundred pages featuring Powning’s stunning creations in various degrees of detail, this latest in a series of collaborations between Goose Lane and Leroux exploring New Brunswick artists and architecture is yet another reason to appreciate this beautiful province we call home.
Powning’s work is difficult to categorize. Known simultaneously as a sculptor and a ceramist, his work often weaves between both worlds incorporating iron, glass, clay, bronze, porcelain and steel, among any number of found or handmade materials, to create unique works that challenge form, purpose and our collective interpretation of what art can mean in both the physical and theoretical sense. His works are highly unusual in design, each piece a catalyst for discussion in its own right.
In addition to a wealth of photographs capturing Powning’s work in various settings, Peter Powning, A Retrospectiveincludes a series of bilingual essays with contributions by Peter Larocque, head curator of the New Brunswick Museum, writer and art critic John K. Grande, art historian Rachel Gotlieb and the late Allen Bentley, a past contributor to monographs on Miller Brittain, Herzl Kashetsky, William Forrestall and others, each taking a different and fascinating approach to glean meaning and purpose from Powning’s work.
High praise must be given to Goose Lane and Leroux for creating another volume of work that sheds an important light on our own “backyard masters”, for it is artists like Powning who help shape an interpretation of New Brunswick easily taken for granted, or worse, completely unknown, to the larger population.  The beauty of his work, much like that of our own provincial surroundings, is highly deserving of this appreciative collection.