By Robin Laurance
PHANTOMS IN THE FRONT YARD
Deer Lake Gallery, Burnaby. To Sep 14
The most recent show by the collective known as Phantoms in the Front Yard, curated by Pennylane Shen, includes representational art by Michael Abraham, Jeremy Birnbaum, Andrea Hooge, Paul Morstad, Jay Senetchko and Jonathan Sutton. Although working in many different styles, from high realist to comically stylized, members of PITFY all focus on the human fi gure, which they feel has been “banished to the backyard” by contemporary art movements and theories.
SURFER’S PARADISE: NORTHWEST COAST SURFBOARDS
Alcheringa Gallery, Victoria. To Sep 21
Although surf art has existed among many coastal communities for decades, this exhibition is the first to present an Indigenous Northwest Coast spin on it. Using western red cedar from Vancouver Island as their medium, some 20 contemporary artists have carved and painted an array of compelling boards. Their designs explore not only individual and cultural identity, but also the artists’ relationship with the ocean – a profound element of First Nations territories on the North Pacific coast.
SARA CWYNAR: GILDED AGE II
The Polygon Gallery, North Vancouver. To Sep 22
Brooklyn-based Canadian artist Sara Cwynar has worked across photography, collage, books and installation. In her Polygon exhibition, she presents photographs of a wide range of images and materials she has collected, archived, collaged and/or installed – sometimes with models – to create “kaleidoscopic tableaus.” Her ostensible subjects range from deaccessioned library books to e-commerce photo shoots, raising questions about the ways society assigns meaning and attributes value.
OH NIGHTINGALE: PARVIZ TANAVOLI
West Vancouver Art Museum, West Vancouver. To Oct 5
Parviz Tanavoli, the internationally acclaimed Iranian-Canadian artist, is strongly associated with his monumental bronze sculptures, many of them marrying the precepts of Western Modernism with ancient Middle Eastern art and architecture. This WVAM show, however, surveys six decades of his more modestly scaled works, including jewelry, wearable art, paintings, prints and small sculptures. These forms allow him, WVAM says, “to explore the themes of freedom, nothingness, poetry and history.”
THROUGH HER EYES: WORKS FROM OUR PERMANENT COLLECTION
Kelowna Art Gallery, Kelowna. To Nov 17
The landscape subject has long compelled Canadian artists, many inspired by the ways it can speak to a culture’s evolving relationship with the natural world. This exhibition focuses on 14 women artists represented in the KAG collection, including Ann Kipling, Daphne Odjig and Erin Shirre . The works date from the 1930s to the present and range from broad vistas to closely observed details, allowing viewers to consider whether women bring “particular perspectives or sensibilities” to the landscape.
Oxygen Art Centre, Nelson. Sep 6 – 28
Subtitled Mama and Papa Have Trains, Orchards and Mountains in Their Backyard, this multi-channel audio-video exhibition was created by collaborating artists prOphecy sun and Darren Fleet during their recent residency at Oxygen. Based on the rural community of Harrop-Procter, their work examines the substantial changes that have occurred in the area. It serves as “a meditation on the relational networks of technology, economy, landscape and memory.”
CEDRIC BOMFORD: MOUNTAIN EMBASSY
SFU Gallery and off-site at 8955 University High St, Burnaby. Sep 7 – Dec 7
Widely acclaimed for his installation and photographic art, Cedric Bomford poses questions about our built environment. His Mountain Embassy is a temporary structure on Burnaby Mountain, one that examines the dynamics of geopolitical power and cultural identity inherent in ambassadorial buildings. Employing a condominium sales centre cloaked in photogrammetic imagery, Bomford also alludes to SFU’s brutalist architecture, further riffing on themes of belonging and exclusion – and pricey real estate.
ROBIN FIELD: INFORMED
View Gallery, Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo. Sep 13 – Nov 1
Artist and educator Robin Field has used his long experience in college and university classrooms as both means and motivation to develop and expand his own art practice. From the handmade to the digital, his prints, drawings and cut-outs, along with his painted, stitched and mixed-media works, refl ect his “heterogeneous” approach to art making. Field is an honorary research associate of Vancouver Island University, formerly Malaspina College, where he taught for 32 years.
CINDY MOCHIZUKI: CAVE TO DREAM
Richmond Art Gallery, Richmond. Sep 29 – Nov 17
Following a brief residency in Akita-ken, Japan, in 2017, Vancouver artist Cindy Mochizuki developed the multimedia installation on view. Her work includes four short experimental films featuring hand-drawn animation together with live performance storytelling, all set within a theatrical environment of costumed and porcelain game pieces. Cave to Dream speaks of the artist’s interest in the cycles of nature – of life and death – and the world of the spirits evoked in Japanese folklore and rituals.
LESLEY FINLAYSON: FILTER/ED
Elissa Cristall Gallery, Vancouver. Oct 3 – 26
Scottish-born, Vancouver-based Lesley Finlayson paints landscape sketches en plein air, in the tradition of the French Impressionists and Canada’s Group of Seven. Her most recent series of highly gestural works focuses on light filtering through the natural environment of the West Coast. Finlayson writes that she hopes “to project an idea of the moment … seeing the landscape unfold before me.” The play of weather effects is echoed in the varied formal qualities of her medium.