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 Back  Vignettes | Alberta | September – October 2013

By Robin Laurence

WATER INTO ART Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton, Jul 20-Nov 24 This extraordinary travelling exhibition from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London features 100 watercolours produced by leading British artists between 1750 and 1950. Work on view ranges from mystical illustrations of angels by William Blake to atmospheric landscapes by J.M.W. Turner to detailed nature studies by the Pre-Raphaelite William Holman Hunt. The show demonstrates the versatility and immediacy of the watercolour medium, and chronicles its emergence as a “national art form” in Britain.

RIVER/WATER Esplanade Art Gallery, Medicine Hat, Aug 24-Oct 12 More water, but this time as it flows in the South Saskatchewan River rather than across the page. This group show of contemporary and historical art reflects on the physical and creative significance of the river to individuals and communities. From paintings and drawings to photographs, video and mixed-media installations, River/Water “illuminates” the changing character of the river through the decades and the seasons, and examines its impact on human activities and habitation. Topically, it also reflects on recent flooding in southwestern Alberta.

JEAN-FRANCOIS GROMAIRE: LIGHT WITHIN Christine Klassen Gallery, Calgary, Sep 12-Oct 12 Based in the Burgundy region of France, Jean-François Gromaire employs the age-old medium of oil paint to considerable emotional and aesthetic effect. His semi-abstract canvases explore a range of interests and effects, including light and darkness, spatial relations, movement and texture. Earlier careers as a helicopter pilot and an architect have profoundly influenced the ways in which he sees the world and conceives form and space.

FICTION/NON-FICTION Esker Foundation, Calgary, Sep 28-Dec 22 The 13 national and international artists represented in this exhibition “challenge and critique mainstream cultural histories.” Working across a range of media, from photography and film to painting and sculpture, they explore ideas around the construction of identity, the politics of representation, “interculturalism,” museological and archival practices, exile, displacement, and contemporary notions of progress. Among the stellar line-up are Raymond Boisjoly, Brenda Draney and Duane Linklater.

MARJAN EGGERMONT: ANOTHER PART OF THE FOREST Herringer Kiss Gallery, Calgary, Oct 19-Nov 16 This Netherlands-born, Calgary-based artist explores patinas and imagistic effects achieved through working with acid on steel. At the same time, she creates contemporary variations on a proto-Romantic oil painting by the 17th-century Dutch artist Paulus Potter. Eggermont travelled to her birth city of Leiden to examine Potter’s work and re-interpret his emotional responses to scenes of “untamed nature.” Ultimately, what emerges from her project is a desire to harmoniously co-exist with the natural world.

William Blake
William Blake

Vivian Lindoe / River/Water
Vivian Lindoe / River/Water

Jean-François Gromaire
Jean-François Gromaire

Brenda Draney / Fiction/Non-Fiction
Brenda Draney / Fiction/Non-Fiction

Marjan Eggermont
Marjan Eggermont

 Sat, Sep 7, 2013