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 Back  Vignettes | British Columbia | February – March 2015

By Robin Laurence

KATHI HOFMANN: MATER FAMILIAS Oxygen Art Centre, Nelson, Jan 9-Feb 7 Ceramic and mixed-media assemblages characterize this Nelson artist’s solo exhibition. Originally trained in geology and then in functional pottery, Kathi Hofmann made the leap to sculpture in 2013. Her recent work combines hand-built ceramic forms with found objects and other materials, such as rope, bits of hardware and small pieces of furniture. In her artist’s statement, Hofmann speaks of “the dramas of materials … their inherent qualities, how they are connected, and the emotional resonances they provoke.

JEFF WILSON: 60º NORTH: SHETLAND Maple Ridge Art Gallery, Maple Ridge, Jan 10-Feb 28 The tropical colours of Jeff Wilson’s paintings stand in brilliant contrast to the place they depict: the rainy, grey Shetland Islands, a subarctic archipelago off the northern coast of Scotland and the site of the artist’s recent residency. Born in Scotland, based in Vancouver and with a PhD in mining engineering, Wilson now devotes himself full time to painting. His work reveals influences from a range of sources, including Scottish Realist painters of the late 19th century.

A TERRIBLE BEAUTY: ED BURTYNSKY IN DIALOGUE WITH EMILY CARR Kelowna Art Gallery, Kelowna, Jan 10-Mar 1 Humankind’s impact on the natural world and ideas of the industrial sublime are addressed in this extraordinary show of 18 large-scale colour photographs by contemporary artist Edward Burtynsky juxtaposed with six historic paintings by the ever-iconic Emily Carr. Burtynsky’s astounding works include images of fish farms in China, mine tailings in Ontario and an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The selection of Carr’s work focuses on her paintings of logged-over landscapes and gravel quarries.

RECORD (RE)CREATE Nanaimo Art Gallery (Campus Gallery), Nanaimo, Jan 10-Apr 12 Subtitled “Contemporary Coast Salish Art from the Salish Weave Collection,” this exhibition highlights the works of 14 outstanding First Nations artists, including Susan Point, John Marston, Stan Greene and Kelly Cannell. The pieces display a range of materials and art forms, from carved wood to etched glass, cedar bark weaving and silkscreen printing. However diverse their origins, these artists have in common the impulse to negotiate the complex realm between past and present, tradition and innovation.

CAROL PRUSA: OVERFLOW Jennifer Kostuik Gallery, Vancouver, Jan 29-Feb 22 Florida-based artist Carol Prusa specializes in the classical medium of metal point drawing. Her surfaces, however, are not flat pieces of paper or board, but 3-D ceramic spheres or acrylic disks, free-standing or wall-mounted and often twinkling with fibre optic lights. Prusa’s intensely detailed, almost hallucinogenic silverpoint and graphite drawings range from the cosmic to the microcosmic. Physics, mathematics, geometry and cosmology inspire her explorations of multiple universes, realities and possibilities.

VISUALIZING A CULTURE FOR STRANGERS: CHINESE EXPORT PAINTINGS OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY Burnaby Art Gallery, Burnaby, Jan 30-Mar 29 The paintings on view in this show were created in Guangzhou (Canton) for export to the West. Working in Western media such as oil paint and watercolour, Chinese artists catered to a taste for scenes of everyday life, including images of city streets and dockyards, game playing, opium smoking, weddings, funerals and the manufacturing of furniture and porcelain. As well, Chinese export painters gratified a gruesome Western taste for images of executions and physical punishment.

MIKE ANDREW MCLEAN: LATENT IMAGE (PART ONE) 2012–2015 Deluge Contemporary Art, Victoria, Feb 6-Mar 14 This artist’s Latent Image project explores some of the earliest photographic forms and techniques, including cyanotypes, ferrotypes and albumen prints. McLean employs these antique methods to record contemporary subjects, from giant trucks to subway commuters, along with photo?graphy’s traditional subjects, such as landscapes, garden sheds and star-filled night skies. His intention is to reignite interest in the way photographs are made and perceived in a world awash in digital images.

BEYOND THE SURFACE: THE DRAWINGS OF NINGEOKULUK TEEVEE Inuit Gallery, Vancouver, Feb 14-Mar 6 This show of drawings by Cape Dorset artist and writer Ningeokuluk Teevee reveals her deep knowledge of Inuit legends and her keen observations of the natural world. The 27 coloured-pencil and graphite works on view demonstrate, too, her ability to bridge generations and cultures. At the forefront of Inuit graphic art, Ningeokuluk wrote and illustrated the acclaimed children’s book Alego, nominated for a Governor General’s award in 2009.

THE PHOTOGRAPHS OF ALLEN GINSBERG (1953–1996) Presentation House Gallery, North Vancouver, Feb 21-Apr 5 Renowned as a prolific poet of the Beat Generation, Allen Ginsberg was also a composer, archivist and photographer. He used the camera to document his life and times, taking pictures of friends, lovers, muses and fellow writers, among them Jack Kerouac, Lucien Carr, Neal Cassady and William S. Burroughs. Wonderfully titled We Are Continually Exposed to the Flashbulb of Death, this exhibition of photographs also calls up Ginsberg’s interests in music, political freedom and Buddhist philosophy.

KEEWATIN WOMEN IN STONE Spirit Wrestler Gallery, Vancouver, Mar 14-Apr 4 The stone carvers of Keewatin (now officially Kivalliq) are known for the minimal or semi-abstract style of their work. The two renowned artists featured here, Lucy Tasseor Tutsweetok (1934–2012) and Camille Iquliq (1963–2005), shared an interest in the subjects of mothers and children and family groups. However, Tasseor’s sculptures are angular and shallowly incised, while Iquliq’s are more deeply carved, with gently rounded curves and folds – each artist immensely expressive in her own way.

Kathi Hofmann: Mater Familias
Kathi Hofmann: Mater Familias

Jeff Wilson
Jeff Wilson

A Terrible Beauty
A Terrible Beauty

Record (Re)Create
Record (Re)Create

Carol Prusa: Overflow
Carol Prusa: Overflow

Visualizing a Culture for Strangers
Visualizing a Culture for Strangers

Mike Andrew McLean
Mike Andrew McLean

Ningeokuluk Teevee
Ningeokuluk Teevee

Allen Ginsberg
Allen Ginsberg

Camille Iquliq
Camille Iquliq

 Sun, Feb 8, 2015