Wow Westminster

Wow Westminster was installed as Vancouver Biennale’s Open Air Museum presentation in New Westminster.  This 140-foot installation, comprised of four forty-foot shipping containers precariously cantilevered to form a “W” was designed by the Brazilian artist José Resende. The work established itself as an iconic placemaker along the Fraser River and was an integral part of the City’s Westminster Pier Park.  The work was removed in 2020 due to extensive structural damage resulting from the Pier Park fire.  

This artwork was installed at 170 Front Street, New Westminster.

About the artist:

Born in 1945, in São Paulo, José Resende graduated in Architecture from the Mackenzie Presbyterian University in 1967. He studied engraving at the Armando Álvares Penteado Foundation, as a student of the artist Wesley Duke Lee. In 1981 he completed a Master’s degree at the Department of History at the University of São Paulo. In 1984 Resende received a research scholarship from the John Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. He has served as a faculty member and professor at the following institutions: University of São Paulo, Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado (FAAP) and Mackenzie Presbyterian University.

José Resende has participated in many prestigious international art exhibitions including several editions of the São Paulo Biennial (1967, 1983, 1989, 1998), Biennale de Paris (1980, special mentions), 20th Century Brazilian Art (1987, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris), Venice Biennale (1988), Documenta 9 ( Kassel, 1992), Latin American Artists of the Twentieth Century (1993), Museum of Modern Art (MoMA, New York), Brazil 500 – Rediscovery Exhibition (1999), ArteCidade SP (1994 and 2002), Mercosul Biennial (2001 and 2004), Contemporary art: an open story, Gabinete de Arte Raquel Arnaud, São Paulo (2004).

Resende’s work has been the subject of single exhibitions at some of the most visited contemporary art museums in Brazil including the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, where he had a major retrospective in 2015. Other  museum exhibitions include: the Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro (Rio de Janeiro, 2011), Niterói Contemporary Art Museum (MAC, Rio de Janeiro, 1990).

Over the past thirty-five years, Resende has also successfully shown works at commercial galleries  across Brazil: Galeria Raquel Arnaud (São Paulo, 1981, 1982, 1985, 1991, 2002), Galeria Bergamin (São Paulo 2005), Manoel Macedo Galeria de Arte (Minas Gerais, 2006), “Small Dhapes”, Galeria Marília Razuk (São Paulo, 2006), “Matching”, Galeria Marília Razuk (São Paulo, 2007), Galeria Paulo Fernandes (Rio de Janeiro, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011), Paulo Darzé Galeria de Arte (Bahia, 2010), Galeria de Arte Ipanema (Rio de Janeiro, 2010), Mooca Operational Worksite (São Paulo, 2012).

In 2003, Cosac & Naify published the book JOSÉ RESENDE

Installation year:
Removal year:
Primary materials:
Corten steel shipping containers