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 Back  Vignettes | British Columbia | February – March 2014

By Robin Laurence

MEGHAN HILDEBRAND: RESTLESS FABLES Touchstones Nelson Museum of Art and History, Nelson, Nov 30-Feb 16 Meghan Hildebrand describes her paintings as “story-maps of the imagination.” Her combination of the abstract and representational is delivered through lively and expressionistic colour and gesture, amplified by motifs and symbols suggesting a deep connection with the collective unconscious. In this series, she creates floating orbs and mask-like images that reveal a range of cultural influences – European, Asian, First Nations and Inuit.

LYSE LEMIEUX: SHAPED DRAWINGS Republic Gallery, Vancouver, Jan 9-Feb 15 In her latest body of work, Lyse Lemieux disengages the drawn object from the wall and frees it from the frame. She cuts body-sized shapes out of foamcore, reworks their surfaces with water, paint, pencil, ink, tape, fabric and a knife blade, and then sets the pieces on the floor, leaning against the wall or each other. There, “precariously torqued,” they claim a more charged relationship to their own formal components and to the space around them.

THE SPACES BETWEEN: CONTEMPORARY ART FROM HAVANA Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver, Jan 10–Apr 13 The title of this group exhibition is meant to suggest “the spaces between the artwork and its reception, between language and truth, and between the actual past and imagined future.” The 17 Havana-based artists represented here use drawing, painting, printmaking, photography and video to articulate their cultural identities and the social spaces they inhabit. The show is co-curated by Antonio Eligio (Tonel), Cuban artist and critic, and Belkin Gallery curator and associate director Keith Wallace.

THE TREE: LITERAL AND FIGURATIVE Chinese Cultural Centre Museum, Vancouver, Jan 11-Feb 16 From earliest times the tree has signified the bridge between heaven and earth, the attainment of knowledge, or the axis mundi. The eight international artists represented here work across many media, including painting, photography, ceramics and installation. Their images range widely, too, from poetic representations of small-scale plant life to documentary records of large-scale resource exploitation. The show is complemented by tours, workshops and drawing demonstrations.

#PAULWONG2014 Winsor Gallery, Vancouver, Jan 16-Feb 15 This exhibition, which includes new photographic, video and neon works by one of Canada’s most esteemed artists, draws heavily on social media and its integration into contemporary life. The show’s feature piece, #paulwong2014, is an immense wall-mounted installation composed of 40 video screens displaying over 300 loops “created from animated gifs and short video clips.” The effect is to give viewers direct access into Wong’s life, while also asking, “Are we controlling these new media tools, or do they control us?” Wong is a pioneering media artist whose career has challenged numerous social and creative conventions.

BEAUTIFUL MONSTERS Kamloops Art Gallery, Kamloops, Jan 17-Mar 22 This travelling art show from the National Gallery of Canada spotlights 50 etchings, engravings and woodcuts created by European artists between the 15th and 18th centuries. The subjects are frightening, beautiful and grotesque beasts, creatures and monsters – some drawn from classical mythology, others from religious beliefs and still others from the anxious imaginations of their creators. Artists represented include Albrecht Dürer, Jacques Callot and Andrea Mantegna.

(DA BAO) (TAKEOUT) Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey, Jan 25-Mar 23 This group exhibition deploys the ubiquitous image of take-out food to signify the international movement of people, cultures and ideas. The diverse references – from shadow theatre and mushroom farming to tai chi, urban development and rickshaw design – explore the “slippages that occur in the transfer of ideas from one ethnicity to another.” The 17 artists include second- and third-generation Chinese-Canadians, Chinese nationals who have travelled abroad to study art, and European-Canadians who have travelled to China for residencies or exhibitions.

ANDRE PETTERSON: IMPRESSIONS OF AFRICA Bau-Xi Gallery, Vancouver, Feb 22-Mar 8 When Andre Petterson isn’t working in his Burnaby studio, he’s travelling the world and taking remarkable photographs. His latest series of mixed-media works draw on photos he shot during a recent trip to Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa. Most inspiring to his creative sensibilities were the elephants that “seem to own the landscape,” and the zebras, whose black and white stripes offer a metaphor of the racial divide still existent in Africa. Petterson stacks and juggles images of wild animal images with an array of motifs based on inanimate objects. The effect is both amusing and unsettling.

RING RE::FORM Circle Craft Gallery, Vancouver, Feb 28-Mar 25 Body ornament has evolved from the purely decorative to the socially, politically and environmentally attuned. Art jewellers Barbara Cohen and Lawrence Woodford curated this exhibition of works by 30 artists from across Canada, inviting them to fabricate rings from materials such as felt, clay, resin, plastic, organic materials and found objects. Although the creations had to fit the human hand, none had to be wearable. The result is a collection of miniature sculptures varying from abstract to representational, playful to provocative.

PAT SERVICE Art Gallery at Evergreen Cultural Centre, Coquitlam, Mar 6-Apr 17 This survey of the paintings of landscapist Pat Service reveals her interests and influences over the past three decades. From washy, colour-field renderings of subjects through to highly detailed and layered depictions of landscape, Service has since cycled back to a more simplified and abstracted approach to her medium. Although she has sketched in many parts of the world, she continues to demonstrate a powerful attachment to the landscape of her native British Columbia.

Meghan Hildebrand
Meghan Hildebrand

Lise Lemieux
Lise Lemieux

Juan Carlos Alom
Juan Carlos Alom

Phyllis Schwartz
Phyllis Schwartz

Paul Wong
Paul Wong

Hans Sebald Beham
Hans Sebald Beham

Laurens Tan
Laurens Tan / (Da bao) (Takeout)

Clash
Andre Petterson

Barbara Cohen
Barbara Cohen

Pat Service
Pat Service

 Fri, Feb 7, 2014