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Alberta, British Columbia, Oregon, Washington

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 Back  Vignettes | British Columbia | April/May 2017

By Robin Laurence

MATISSE DRAWINGS Audain Art Museum, Whistler, Feb 25-May 22 Curated by American painter and printmaker Ellsworth Kelly from the Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation Collection, this exhibition features 45 drawings from across nearly five decades of Henri Matisse’s career. One of the most acclaimed artists of the early 20th century, Matisse was noted not only for his expressive use of colour and pattern, but also for the fluency of his line. The show also includes nine lithographs by Kelly.

BRIGITTA KOCSIS: CONTINGENT BODIES grunt gallery, Vancouver, Mar 3-Apr 15 Born in Sárospatak, Hungary and based in Vancouver, Brigitta Kocsis has experimented with a range of art forms, including large-scale, multimedia installations and video. Her new paintings combine figurative and abstract elements and focus on bodies in states of transformation, suggesting both physical and psychological exile. Kocsis also uses her figures to address sexual and cultural identity, and to play with ideas of cyborgs, biotechnology and the post-human.

NPAC PICTURES OF THE YEAR Pendulum Gallery, Vancouver, Mar 20-Apr 14 This show, from the News Photographers Association of Canada, celebrates excellence in photojournalism. Finalists in the 10th annual National Picture of the Year Awards compete in 13 categories, from “Social Issues” to “Sports.” Their works span the globe, catching people at work and at play, in wartime and peacetime, in hospitals, markets, shipyards and refugee camps. Each tells a compelling story, evincing the highest standards of photojournalistic practice.

VICTOR JOHN PENNER: DISTRICT* (*based on a true story) West Vancouver Museum, West Vancouver, Mar 29-May 6 Taken with a large format camera, Victor John Penner’s colour photographs present what curator Darrin Morrison describes as “a counter-narrative” to the nature-based images we usually associate with Vancouver’s North Shore. Shots of urban and suburban spaces offer eerie readings of the built environment, from graffiti-covered walls to a deserted parking lot at night to a ragged net in an empty gymnasium. Accompanied by a handsome and illuminating catalogue.

SONG OF THE OPEN ROAD Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, Apr 1-Jun 18 Part of the 2016 Capture Photography Festival, this exhibition brings together 10 artists from Canada, Eritrea, Ireland, Sweden and the United States. Each approaches his or her relationship to the medium in an entirely different way. From Gerard Byrne’s evocations of American vernacular photography of the mid-20th century to Kelly Lycan’s installation based on an historic photograph of Alfred Stieglitz’s Gallery 291, the show questions the very nature of photographic practice.

GEORGE LITTLECHILD: WARRIOR Kimoto Gallery, Vancouver, Apr 8-Apr 29 In this new series of paintings, George Littlechild uses the image of “the Warrior” to express different world views and to defend stances on important socio-economic and environmental issues. Each of his 10 warriors also exemplifies the idea of the superhero and brings a special power to creating change in the world. Of Plains Cree descent, Littlechild is acclaimed for his brilliantly hued paintings and the positive messages they convey.

SUPERYOUNG Kamloops Art Gallery, Kamloops, Apr 8-Jul 1 This companion exhibition to Kids these days is composed of drawings, collages, textiles, sculptures and videos whose themes, subjects and aesthetics evoke youth and youth culture. The 12 artists featured here – including Cooper Battersby & Emily Vey Duke, Terrance Houle, and Roselina Hung – revel in a complex “imaginary” that ranges from the naïve to the romantic and from the humorous to the nostalgic.

JIM ADAMS: THE IRRETRIEVABLE MOMENT Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey, Apr 8-Jun 11 Longtime Douglas College instructor and community arts organizer and advocate, Jim Adams is represented here by a five-decade survey of his creative career. His representational paintings pose subjects in a state of ominous or humorous suspense – “the irretrievable moment,” Adams says, “when you’re committed to the action but the action hasn’t actually happened yet.” This is the first of a two-part retrospective exhibition developed with The Reach Gallery Museum in Abbotsford.

MARIANNE NICOLSON AWI’NAGISKASU: REAL LAND Nanaimo Art Gallery, Nanaimo, Apr 21-Jul 2 This solo exhibition surveys paintings, light-installations, and video work by leading Kwakwaka’wakw artist Marianne Nicolson. It also references the monumental pictograph she created near her ancestral village Gwa’yi. Informing many of Nicolson’s works are her concerns about “the waters that surround and course through the land, and that deeply affect the health of coastal communities.” During the show, Nicolson will also produce a new public artwork on the exterior of the gallery.

OF LAND AND SEA Circle Craft Gallery, Vancouver, May 4-Jun 4 Five textile artists participate in a show focused on nature-based themes and imagery. Curated by Kaija Rautiainen, recognized for her combination of traditional and digital weaving techniques, the show also includes Anni Hunt (textile vessels), Catherine Nicholls (textile and mixed-media art), Julie Pongrac (basketry), and Michelle Sirois-Silver (hand hooking and appliqué). Look for an appealing array of materials, colours, textures, forms, and surface design.

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Henri Matisse

Brigitta Kocsis
Brigitta Kocsis

J. Franson/CP
J. Franson/CP

Victor John Penner
Victor John Penner

Lisa Tan
Lisa Tan

George Littlechild
George Littlechild

Sarah Gotowka
Sarah Gotowka

Jim Adams
Jim Adams

Marianne Nicolson
Marianne Nicolson

Kaija Rautianen
Kaija Rautianen

 Tue, Apr 4, 2017