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 Back  Vignettes | British Columbia | June – August 2013

By Robin Laurence

JEREMY ISAO SPEIER AND JUNICHIRO IWASE: DOUBLE ZERO Nikkei National Museum, Burnaby, Jun 13-Sep 1 This two-person show contrasts two different approaches to investing art with meaning. Using sculpture and animation, Junichiro Iwase has long created public artworks that speak to a range of social concerns. His feature work here is based on eggshells, as a metaphor for exploring themes of “fragility, vulnerability and beauty” in the context of contemporary society. Jeremy Isao Speier employs found objects and obsolete technologies, in conjunction with kinetics, to examine loss, the passage of time and the shifting character of the urban landscape.

STRANGELOVE’S WEEGEE Presentation House Gallery, North Vancouver, Jun 14-Jul 28 Here’s an odd partnership: American news photographer Weegee, best known for his gritty depictions of violent crime scenes in New York City in the 1930s and 1940s, and film director Stanley Kubrick. Kubrick (who started his career as a photojournalist for Look magazine) was interested in Weegee’s “tabloid aesthetic," which may explain why Weegee was on set documenting the making of Kubrick’s 1964 film, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. In addition to Weegee’s photos the show includes posters and other material related to this landmark black comedy.

NATALIE PURSCHWITZ Art Gallery at Evergreen Cultural Centre, Coquitlam, Jun 15-Jul 13 Recently returned from a residency in Paris, this Vancouver-based artist examines a range of ideas around textiles, collecting, and the histories embedded in objects. Natalie Purschwitz’s smart and eclectic practice ranges across wearable art, costume design, performance, mixed-media installation and a Fluxus-like attention to everyday life. Among the three distinct works on view is documentation of her acclaimed, year-long Makeshift project, during which she wore only what she made herself – including shoes, socks and underwear.

PADDLING THE PACIFIC Alcheringa Gallery, Victoria, Jun 20-Jul 23 For eons, the dugout canoe was an essential mode of travel in both the South Pacific and the Pacific Northwest. This exhibition celebrates canoes and paddles, large and small, created by contemporary artists from New Guinea and Vancouver Island, including Edmond Bara, Jack Kain, Michael Timbin, Rande Cook, Stephen Hunt and Maynard Johnny Jr.

MASTERFUL IMAGES: THE ART OF KYOSHI SAITO Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria, Jun 21-Nov 3 Greatly admired as a master of the 20th-century Japanese print movement known as sosaku hanga, Kiyoshi Saito (1907-1997) combined Japanese art traditions with elements of European Modernism. Curator Barry Till has drawn from the AGGV’s remarkable holdings of Saito woodblock prints, thought to be the second largest such collection outside Japan, to create an engrossing overview of the accomplishments of this much-honoured artist.

IAN FORBES: FOLDY PAINTING OF DEATH grunt gallery, Vancouver, Jun 21-Jul 27 Born in Ontario, raised in Alberta and based in Vancouver, Ian Forbes is a multi-disciplinary artist who has been working on a continuous painting on a single roll of canvas. The Big Foldy Painting of Death – inspired by his handmade (and also continuous) accordian-fold books, The Foldy Books of Death – is described by the artist as “an opportunity to dynamically participate in a deeply personal conversation about the nature of contemporary culture and our role as living creatures inhabiting this planet.” Subjects, themes and references range across popular culture, fears of an impending apocalypse, aging, failure and rebirth.

DOUGLAS WALKER: OTHER WORLDS Kelowna Art Gallery, Kelowna, Jul 6-Sep 29 The monumental work anchoring this touring exhibition is a 77-foot long painting on gridded sections of paper, mounted on canvas supports and filling one wall of the gallery. Based in Toronto, Douglas Walker works exclusively in blue and white, creating an effect that is both grand and ghostly. The three forms represented here are a sperm whale, a face mask, and a full moon, setting up metaphors concerning the rhythms of existence, the profound interconnection of humans and animals, and our vast yet fragile natural environment.

BOB KINGSMILL: GARDEN OF ALL SORTS Salmon Arm Arts Centre, Salmon Arm, Jul 6-Aug 1 For nearly half a century, this senior ceramic artist has created a range of funk-inflected stoneware and raku-fired works, written books, taught, and travelled extensively. Working from his studios in Vernon and Vancouver, Bob Kingsmill has seen his masks and murals collected regionally, nationally and internationally. His exhibition at the Salmon Arm Art Gallery consists of a fantastical “garden” of ceramic murals, masks, water features and flying chickens.

PAULO MAJANO: SEDUCTIVE GROTESQUE–VIRTUAL SCULPTURES Arbutus Gallery, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Surrey, Jul 25-Aug 9 Vancouver-area artist and educator Paulo Majano uses Augmented Reality, “the overlay of digital imagery over views of the world in real time,” to create the experience of viewing “statues” in the round that aren’t physically there. Visitors to the show can download the SeductiveGROTESQUE App and point their smartphones towards one of the digital images of historical sculpture placed in various gallery spaces, triggering the appearance of the sculpture as a virtual object.

LES LINFOOT: EVERYONE TALKS ABOUT THE WEATHER Amelia Douglas Gallery, New Westminster, Aug 8-Sep 6 The abstract paintings in this exhibition reveal the artist’s previous work as a graphic designer for a daily newspaper. “Part of my time there was spent designing and assembling weather maps, so isobars, front lines and other weather icons are part of my visual repertoire,” Les Linfoot writes. His paintings are composed of layered passages of colour.

Junichiro Iwase
Junichiro Iwase

Weegee
Weegee

Natalie Purschwitz
Natalie Purschwitz

Paddling the Pacific
Paddling the Pacific

Kyoshi Saito
Kyoshi Saito

Ian Forbes
Ian Forbes

Douglas Walker
Douglas Walker

Bob Kingsmill
Bob Kingsmill

Paulo Majano
Paulo Majano

Les Linfoot
Les Linfoot

 Thu, Jun 6, 2013