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 Back  Vignettes | British Columbia | June - August 2016

By Robin Laurence

RUTH BEER: STATES OF MATTER Two Rivers Gallery, Prince George, Apr 29-Jul 10 Vancouver artist Ruth Beer has long shown a fascination with the intertwining of history, geography, ecology, cultural heritage and the economy. In her Two Rivers show, organized in collaboration with the Reach Gallery Museum in Abbotsford, she focuses on ideas and processes of material transformation. Sculptures, videos and woven forms allude to the charged relationship between nature, culture and the extraction of resources such as copper and oil.

AIMÉE HENNY BROWN: FUTUR SIMPLE/FUTUR ANTÉRIEUR The Reach Gallery Museum, Abbotsford, May 5-Sep 4 This exhibition’s fantastical, collage-based works draw on popular culture images from the mid-20th century, when society was immensely optimistic about the future, and ideas surrounding technological advances, space exploration and interplanetary travel loomed large in the public imagination. Aimée Henny Brown asks us to pose these now-antiquated notions of the future against our contemporary anxieties about the non-sustainability of our over-consuming and planet-destroying ways.

TWENTY-THREE DAYS AT SEA, CHAPTER ONE Access Gallery, Vancouver, May 28-Jul 16 Access Gallery, in partnership with the Burrard Arts Foundation and the Contemporary Art Gallery, recently offered highly unusual “travelling artists’ residencies” aboard container ships sailing from Vancouver to Shanghai. This exhibition features new work by the residency’s four inaugural artists who, through a range of forms and disciplines, from sculpture to movement, meditate on themes and experiences related (or not) to their passage across the Pacific.

IRA HOFFECKER: BERLIN IDENTITIES Sidney and Gertrude Zack Gallery, Vancouver, Jun 2-Jul 3 The making and mapping of place and the shifting of civic identity through time are themes that run through this series of mixed-media works focused on Berlin. Ira Hoffecker’s creative process of building up and sanding down his painted surface echoes the historic processes of construction, decay, demolition and rebuilding. It also serves as a metaphor for memory, forgetting and “coming to terms with historic events.”

WHERE/BETWEEN Equinox Gallery, Vancouver, Jun 4-Jul 9 Guest-curated by Pantea Haghighi, where/between spotlights five expatriate Iranian artists whose works employ “the bridge” as a concept, a visual motif or a metaphor. Their forms and media range from painting, drawing, weaving and sculpture to digital photography, video installation and laser-cut wood panels. Themes include the disjunctions that occur through migration, with its challenges to ideas of place and cultural identity.

PICASSO: THE ARTIST AND HIS MUSES Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, Jun 11-Oct 2 Much of the Picasso myth is composed of his relationships with the beautiful women who served as his mates, lovers and models. This exhibition explores the inspiration he drew from six of them and their impact on his groundbreaking art. Through paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures, the exhibition looks at the lives and personalities of Fernande Olivier, Olga Khokhlova, Marie-Thérèse Walter, Dora Maar, Françoise Gilot and Jacqueline Roque.

JOE FAFARD: RETAILLES Burnaby Art Gallery, Burnaby, Jun 24-Aug 28 One of Canada’s most beloved artists, Joe Fafard is represented in this show by his experiments in laser-cut and welded metal sculpture, together with embossed and woodcut prints. retailles is a French word meaning scraps or leftovers and refers here to the cut-out pieces of metal that are a by-product of the laser process. The artist recycles these forms into new assemblages, reconfiguring negative space as positive.

RYLAND FORTIE: CHATROOM PARANOIA Kamloops Art Gallery, Kamloops, Jul 2-Sep 3 The twelfth annual Curator’s Choice exhibition spotlights the work of Thompson Rivers University graduate Ryland Fortie. His multi-media installation makes reference to virtual social spaces found on the Internet. Video, sculpture and faux objects, such as plastic fruit and plaster body parts, suggest the blurring of lines between the virtual and the physical, and examine the impact of that phenomenon on social interactions.

SUSAN MENZIES: WALLY DOGS Kelowna Art Gallery, Kelowna, Jul 9-Oct 16 “Wally dogs” is the colloquial Scottish term for the Staffordshire dog figurines that were often found on the mantelpieces and window sills of 19th-century British homes. Calgary-based artist Susan Menzies paints small, evocative portraits of these porcelain dogs, using them as a vehicle for exploring not only material culture, markers of class and the shifting values of collectibles but also child labour in Victorian England.

THE ART OF DR. SEUSS Pendulum Gallery, Vancouver, Jul 11-30 Most of us associate Dr. Seuss, a.k.a. Theodor Seuss Geisel, with The Cat in the Hat and his 43 other extraordinary children’s books. Less known is his successful career as an editorial cartoonist and commercial illustrator in the 1920s through the 1940s, and also his independent ventures into drawing, painting and sculpture. This engaging exhibition features examples of his wide-ranging art across nearly seven decades.

Ruth Beer
Ruth Beer

Aimée Henny Brown
Aimée Henny Brown

Christopher Boyne
Christopher Boyne

Ira Hoffecker
Ira Hoffecker

Mandana Moghaddam
Mandana Moghaddam

Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso

Joe Fafard
Joe Fafard

Ryland Fortie
Ryland Fortie

Susan Menzies
Susan Menzies

Theodor Seuss Geisel
Theodor Seuss Geisel

 Thu, Jun 9, 2016