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 Back  Vignettes | Alberta | June – August 2015

By Robin Laurence

KEVIN SCHMIDT: A SIGN IN THE NORTHWEST PASSAGE Esker Foundation, Calgary, May 23-Sep 6 Through photographs and videos, this exhibition documents the creation and journey of a cedar billboard installed by Vancouver artist Kevin Schmidt on sea ice north of Tuktoyaktuk during the winter of 2010??. Inscribed with an apocalyptic passage from the Book of Revelations, the sign floated away during the spring thaw, a brilliant marker of global warming, Arctic sovereignty, competing land and resource claims, hostile geopolitics and potentially disastrous changes to the fabled landscape of the Far North.

HOOKED: FISH, WATER AND ANGLING IN ART Glenbow, Calgary, May 30-Oct 4 Alberta’s rivers, lakes and streams are celebrated for the pleasures they afford those who fish with rod, reel and line. This exhibition employs paintings, prints, drawings and sculptures to illuminate the experience – natural, cultural and philosophical – of angling. Works by artists who were or are anglers, including Tom Thomson, Ted Godwin and Walter May, are supplemented by thematically related museum objects and archival materials. Look for Douglas Allen’s exquisite, realistic renderings of fish, flies and lures.

BRENDAN FERNANDES: STILL MOVE Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge, Jun 26-Sep 6 The video installations, photographs and performances created by this Toronto-based artist draw their form and power from his early training in ballet and modern dance. Brendan Fernandes choreographs and records dancers interacting with objects of different shapes and sizes, exploring ideas about the ways the body may enact identity, weighted as it is with history and culture. In this exhibition, he touches on how bodies function within institutional space and the built environment, often in relation to props.

ILLUMINATIONS Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton, Jun 27-Oct 4 Subtitled Italian Baroque Masterworks in Canadian Collections, this exhibition examines the ways techniques such as chiaroscuro and tenebrism characterized the painting styles of Rome, Naples and Bologna between 1590 and 1715. Among the artists represented in this unusual survey are Mattia Preti, Jusepe de Ribera, Luca Giordano and Nicolas Poussin, who variously employed elements of brilliant light, deep shadow, rich colour and dynamic movement to convey emotional and religious messages to the viewer.

G’DDY UP! Newzones, Calgary, Jul 4-Aug 22 This annual group show celebrates the Calgary Stampede by focusing on contemporary cowboy culture. It explores a shift of approaches, from evocations of the Wild West to a more cosmopolitan understanding of the West. Artists include Joseph Adolphe, Joe Andoe, Dianne Bos, Sophie DeFrancesca, Don Pollack, Kevin Sonmor, Jeff Nachtigall and Samantha Walrod. Exemplary of the work, Adolphe’s paintings on the theme of sacred animals express the metaphorical powers of bulls and horses.

Kevin Schmidt
Kevin Schmidt

J. F. Kernan
J. F. Kernan

Brendan Fernandes
Brendan Fernandes

Luca Giordano
Luca Giordano

Joseph Adolphe
Joseph Adolphe

 Mon, Jun 8, 2015