By Michael Turner
SIMONE GUO: MELANCHOLIA DREAMLAND
Art Beatus, Vancouver, To Jun 22
An artist born from artists, Simone Guo completed bachelor and master’s degrees in Art History at the Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing, China before taking up residence in Vancouver, BC. For her current exhibition of expressive acrylic-on-canvas mixed-media works, Guo combines her appreciation of traditional Chinese monochromatic landscape painting with an interior palette drawn from the reclusive heart and the mountain’s ice cold waters. Works include Tangled (2017), Refuge (2017), On the Other Side (2017) and Bridal Falls (2017).
POP ART PRINTS Audain Art Museum, Whistler, Jun 30 – Sep 17
Co-produced with the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Pop Art Prints features 37 works from the Smithsonian’s extensive collection. Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol are well represented; but so, too, is the context. Pop Art didn’t just jump out of a chrome toaster – it emerged as a deliberate and, at times, diffident response to an intensely emotional Abstract Expressionism. As with most Pop Art exhibitions, expect to be seduced; but where the Smithsonian is involved, expect to be challenged, too.
BEGINNING WITH THE SEVENTIES: RADIAL CHANGE
Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver, Jun 22 – Aug 12
This is the second of four exhibitions that recognize the 1970s as the moment when feminism, environmentalism, LGBTQ rights, access to health services and housing coalesced amidst what we now call social practice. In this iteration, series curator Lorna Brown focuses on Helen Goodwin, a multidisciplinary dance artist who was integral to the development of Vancouver’s first artist-run centre: Intermedia. Artists include Michael de Courcy, Kate Craig, Helen Goodwin, Evann Siebens and Jin-Me Yoon.
JUDY RADUL: WORDS NO PICTURES NO WORDS
Catriona Jeffries Gallery, Vancouver, To Jun 16
Merging form, media, cognition, language and affect, Judy Radul’s ongoing festival of the unexpected has once more produced an exhibition where contraption collapses into sculpture, perception into portraiture, page into cinema. The centrepiece this time is Man’s Hands (2018), a reading pavilion inspired by Michael Snow’s 1975 intermedial artist book Cover to Cover. Among its parts are two page-turning machines, two kinetic sculptures and a small cinema. Also in attendance is Radul’s custom-made “live” video system.
CHROMATIC LIGHT Il Museo, Vancouver, To Jun 20
For this three-person exhibition, painters Dennis Brown, Paul Chizik and Liza Visagie ventured into Nature to soak up her silence and lay down some brushstrokes in honour of her music. The result is a series of soothing oil-on-linen works that lead the viewer through simmering wetlands and mottled thickets, where shrubs explode with ochre and trees belong more to shadows than the ground they are rooted in. Highlights include Dark Forms, Autumn Light (2017), Shangri-La (2017) and Autumn Marsh (2017).
THE TIME OF THINGS: THE CONTINUUM OF INDIGENOUS CONTEMPORARY PRACTICES INTO CONTEMPORARY ART
UVic Legacy Art Gallery Downtown, Victoria, To Jul 7
Curated by France Trepanier, this exhibition takes as its point of departure the binary of traditional and contemporary. Through the work of five artists – Daphne Boyer, Maureen Gruben, Susan Pavel, Skeena Reece and Marika Echachis Swan – Indigenous customary practices and contemporary Indigenous art are presented not as opposing addresses but as a shared road. On June 7, Reece premieres her latest performance, “Conceptual Carving”.
TITANIC: THE ARTIFACT EXHIBITION
Lipont Place, Richmond, Jun 23 – Jan 11, 2019
Nothing in our global culture matches the magnificence, the audacity and the come-uppance of the RMS Titanic. Billed as “unsinkable,” this floating museum of entitlement lived and died on its maiden voyage, leaving behind not a wreck, but a sarcophagus. Like the treasures of King Tut, the ship’s recovered contents became the playground of curators aware not only of our fascination with wealth and the lives of others, but of those conversant in art and artefact.
CULTURE AT THE CENTRE: HONOURING INDIGENOUS CULTURE, HISTORY AND LANGUAGE Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver, To Oct 8
This exhibition showcases five Northwest Coast Indigenous-run cultural centres and museums: Musqueam Cultural Education Centre, Squamish-Lil’wat Cultural Centre, Heiltsuk Cultural Education Centre, Nisga’a Museum, and Haida Gwaii Museum and Haida Heritage Centre at Kay Llnagaay. The exhibition is unified by three main themes – land & language, continuity & communities, and repatriation & reconciliation – and features rarely-seen items, like an ancient walrus skull and a 32-foot sturgeon harpoon.
TRACE New Media Gallery, New Westminster, To Jul 1
Presenting four works by six artists, TRACE is concerned with human-technological interactions, in particular, “the way machines imagine, record, learn and remember.” Included in the exhibition is an installation by Paul Tresset, where willing subjects sit for a portrait drawn by no less than five robots – all named Paul. The process takes 30 minutes. Bookings can be made here: newmediagallery.youcanbook.me. Portraits remain the property of the robots, but scans will be made available to the sitters.
SELWYN PULLAN: WHAT’S LOST
West Vancouver Museum, West Vancouver, To Jul 14
Three years before his passing in 2017, photographer Selwyn Pullan donated his photographic negatives and prints to the West Vancouver Museum. Although the museum had mounted two prior exhibitions of the photographer’s work, and co-produced a stunning book with publisher Douglas & McIntyre, Pullan’s oeuvre extends well beyond the architectural photography he is known for. The result is an exhibition that showcases a mid-century Vancouver as it was, but also as it wanted to be.