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 Back  Vignettes | British Columbia | February – March 2016

By Robin Laurence

Paƛšiʔaƛma (The Fire is Just Starting); KLEWETUA RODNEY SAYERS AND EMILY LUCE Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria, Jan 14-April 17 This intriguing structure by Port Alberni artists Klewetua Rodney Sayers and Emily Luce conflates two traditions: the European sauna and the First Nations smokehouse. The ingenious work makes us think about the marriage of diverse cultural references and environmental techniques. Sayers, a member of the Hupacasath First Nation, and Luce, of European descent, espouse a philosophy of design that is about simplicity and accessibility, requiring few tools and creating little waste.

DANA CLAXTON: MADE TO BE READY Audain Gallery, Vancouver, Jan 14-Mar 12 Drawing on her Lakota heritage and on ideas of Anishinaabe writer and scholar Gerald Vizenor, Vancouver artist Dana Claxton inverts the aesthetic of the Duchampian readymade. In her new photographs and videos, she proposes her Made to Be Ready idea as a statement of strength and resistance. Claxton’s work employs dramatic elements of costume and performance to advance the possibility of Indigenous women’s “commanding their own mediation of cultural, political and spiritual ways of being and doing.”

DIANNE BOS/DON LAWRENCE: MIDNIGHT SUN CAMERA OBSCURA Kamloops Art Gallery, Kamloops, Jan 16-Mar 19 Taking its title and works from the Midnight Sun Camera Obscura Festival, held in Dawson City, Yukon, in the summer of 2015, this exhibition includes installations by Kamloops artists Dianne Bos and Donald Lawrence. Their distinctive artworks are complemented by historical photographs by Eadweard Muybridge and Harold Edgerton. The result is a rich study of the ways humans have used their knowledge of optics to create compelling images of the world of the cosmos.

OTIC: SYSTEMS OF SOUND New Media Gallery, New Westminster, Jan 21-Mar 20 Spotlighting the work of four internationally renowned sound artists and composers, this exhibition questions the ways sound behaves and how we can produce, perceive and interpret it. Using a variety of approaches – from a wall of speakers emitting white noise to a blue flame shot through glass tubes to create a small sonic boom – Carsten Nicolai, Tristan Perich, Jesper Norda and Adam Basanta unsettle our expectations and excite our understanding of sound’s many possibilities.

NICOLA TIBBETTS: ARCTIC SOJOURN Deer Lake Gallery, Burnaby, Feb 13-Mar 12 Using a realistic style and thin washes of colour scrubbed back to reveal the white gesso beneath, Vancouver artist Nicola Tibbetts has painted scenes she encountered in and around Iqaluit, on the south coast of Baffin Island. Her arresting images capture both the utilitarian structures of this snowbound Inuit settlement that is the capital of Nunavut, and the beauty, starkness and implied cultural history of the surrounding Arctic landscape.

MASHUP: THE BIRTH OF MODERN CULTURE Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, Feb 20-Jun 12 This immense – and immensely ambitious – show surveys the impact of mashup strategies on visual culture. Featuring the work of 156 historic and contemporary artists, brought together by 32 local and international curators, the exhibit occupies all four floors of the VAG. MashUp ranges widely across the past century, from the collage, assemblage, photomontage and readymades of early Modernism to post-war interdisciplinarity and multimedia; and from Postmodern quotation, appropriation and deconstruction to dubbing, sampling, compression and pixilation.

JUDE GRIEBEL AND TAMMY SALZL: UNFAMILIAR SELVES Touchstones Nelson, Nelson, Feb 20-May 29 Themes of autobiography and identity are explored in this two-person show. sculptures by Jude Griebel and watercolour paintings by Tammy Salzl use the human figure as the site of both transaction and transformation. Delving into the personal, social, natural and mythological, the artists individually reveal their shared Prairie background. Griebel’s surreal sculptures fuse human, architectural, art historical and agricultural forms and references, while Salzl’s representational watercolours suggest layers of narrative and psychological meaning between painting and photography.

THOMAS ANFIELD: THE NEW NEIGHBOURS Kimoto Gallery, Vancouver, Mar 4-Apr 2 In this new series of paintings, Thomas Anfield pursues his interest in the play between abstraction and representation, figure and ground, illusion and materiality. His faceted human figures, clearly referencing Cubism, enact a performance that is equal parts theatre, dance, interaction and alienation. As Anfield observes, the history of painting “has been as much about the search for meaning through a meditation on form and … colour, as it has been about image or narrative.”

ROBERT YOUNG: ON LIFE AND ART Visual Space Gallery, Vancouver, Mar 4-20 This show surveys five decades of Robert Young’s etchings, engravings, woodcuts, linocuts and screen prints. As his paintings do, the prints reveal Young’s anticipation of the post-modern strategies of homage and appropriation. He has been citing images from art history and popular culture since early in his career. Other references include jazz music, philosophy, literature and religion, all of which he weaves into his meditations on life and art.

RYAN PETER: THE MOON AND OTHER MYTHS Republic Gallery, Vancouver, Mar 12-Apr 16 As an extension of his Autogram series, Ryan Peter has created new photo-based works that employ a range of traditional and contemporary techniques. These include darkroom processes such as dodging and burning, collaging and contact printing – the latter created by applying acrylic paints to translucent plastic film. Also on view are Peter’s recent cyanotype prints on canvas, revealing his ongoing interest in the relationship between painting and photography. Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria, Jan 14-April 17 This intriguing structure by Port Alberni artists Klewetua Rodney Sayers and Emily Luce conflates two traditions: the European sauna and the First Nations smokehouse. The ingenious work makes us think about the marriage of diverse cultural references and environmental techniques. Sayers, a member of the Hupacasath First Nation, and Luce, of European descent, espouse a philosophy of design that is about simplicity and accessibility, requiring few tools and creating little waste

DANA CLAXTON: MADE TO BE READY Audain Gallery, Vancouver, Jan 14-Mar 12 Drawing on her Lakota heritage and on ideas of Anishinaabe writer and scholar Gerald Vizenor, Vancouver artist Dana Claxton inverts the aesthetic of the Duchampian readymade. In her new photographs and videos, she proposes her Made to Be Ready idea as a statement of strength and resistance. Claxton’s work employs dramatic elements of costume and performance to advance the possibility of Indigenous women’s “commanding their own mediation of cultural, political and spiritual ways of being and doing.”

DIANNE BOS/DON LAWRENCE: MIDNIGHT SUN CAMERA OBSCURA Kamloops Art Gallery, Kamloops, Jan 16-Mar 19 Taking its title and works from the Midnight Sun Camera Obscura Festival, held in Dawson City, Yukon, in the summer of 2015, this exhibition includes installations by Kamloops artists Dianne Bos and Donald Lawrence. Their distinctive artworks are complemented by historical photographs by Eadweard Muybridge and Harold Edgerton. The result is a rich study of the ways humans have used their knowledge of optics to create compelling images of the world of the cosmos.

OTIC: SYSTEMS OF SOUND New Media Gallery, New Westminster, Jan 21-Mar 20 Spotlighting the work of four internationally renowned sound artists and composers, this exhibition questions the ways sound behaves and how we can produce, perceive and interpret it. Using a variety of approaches – from a wall of speakers emitting white noise to a blue flame shot through glass tubes to create a small sonic boom – Carsten Nicolai, Tristan Perich, Jesper Norda and Adam Basanta unsettle our expectations and excite our understanding of sound’s many possibilities.

NICOLA TIBBETTS: ARCTIC SOJOURN Deer Lake Gallery, Burnaby, Feb 13-Mar 12 Using a realistic style and thin washes of colour scrubbed back to reveal the white gesso beneath, Vancouver artist Nicola Tibbetts has painted scenes she encountered in and around Iqaluit, on the south coast of Baffin Island. Her arresting images capture both the utilitarian structures of this snowbound Inuit settlement that is the capital of Nunavut, and the beauty, starkness and implied cultural history of the surrounding Arctic landscape.

MASHUP: THE BIRTH OF MODERN CULTURE Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, Feb 20-Jun 12 This immense – and immensely ambitious – show surveys the impact of mashup strategies on visual culture. Featuring the work of 156 historic and contemporary artists, brought together by 32 local and international curators, the exhibit occupies all four floors of the VAG. MashUp ranges widely across the past century, from the collage, assemblage, photomontage and readymades of early Modernism to post-war interdisciplinarity and multimedia; and from Postmodern quotation, appropriation and deconstruction to dubbing, sampling, compression and pixilation.

JUDE GRIEBEL AND TAMMY SALZL: UNFAMILIAR SELVES Touchstones Nelson, Nelson, Feb 20-May 29 Themes of autobiography and identity are explored in this two-person show. sculptures by Jude Griebel and watercolour paintings by Tammy Salzl use the human figure as the site of both transaction and transformation. Delving into the personal, social, natural and mythological, the artists individually reveal their shared Prairie background. Griebel’s surreal sculptures fuse human, architectural, art historical and agricultural forms and references, while Salzl’s representational watercolours suggest layers of narrative and psychological meaning between painting and photography.

THOMAS ANFIELD: THE NEW NEIGHBOURS Kimoto Gallery, Vancouver, Mar 4-Apr 2 In this new series of paintings, Thomas Anfield pursues his interest in the play between abstraction and representation, figure and ground, illusion and materiality. His faceted human figures, clearly referencing Cubism, enact a performance that is equal parts theatre, dance, interaction and alienation. As Anfield observes, the history of painting “has been as much about the search for meaning through a meditation on form and … colour, as it has been about image or narrative.”

ROBERT YOUNG: ON LIFE AND ART Visual Space Gallery, Vancouver, Mar 4-20 This show surveys five decades of Robert Young’s etchings, engravings, woodcuts, linocuts and screen prints. As his paintings do, the prints reveal Young’s anticipation of the post-modern strategies of homage and appropriation. He has been citing images from art history and popular culture since early in his career. Other references include jazz music, philosophy, literature and religion, all of which he weaves into his meditations on life and art.

RYAN PETER: THE MOON AND OTHER MYTHS Republic Gallery, Vancouver, Mar 12-Apr 16 As an extension of his Autogram series, Ryan Peter has created new photo-based works that employ a range of traditional and contemporary techniques. These include darkroom processes such as dodging and burning, collaging and contact printing – the latter created by applying acrylic paints to translucent plastic film. Also on view are Peter’s recent cyanotype prints on canvas, revealing his ongoing interest in the relationship between painting and photography.

Klewetua Rodney Sayers and Emily Luce
Klewetua Rodney Sayers and Emily Luce

Dana Claxton
Dana Claxton

Dianne Bos
Dianne Bos

Jesper Norda
Jesper Norda

Nicola Tibbetts
Nicola Tibbetts

Barbara Kruger
Barbara Kruger

Jude Griebel
Jude Griebel

Thomas Anfield
Thomas Anfield

Robert Young
Robert Young

Ryan Peter
Ryan Peter

 Mon, Feb 8, 2016