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 Back  Vignettes | British Columbia | September – October 2013

By Robin Laurence

KRISTOFF STEINRUCK: THE MARBLE RANGE Vernon Public Art Gallery, Vernon, Aug 1-Oct 10 Stimulated by his interest in the limestone deposits in the Marble Range mountains near Cache Creek, BC, Steinruck focuses on the area’s unusual geomorphology while also meditating on the nature of time – human and geological. His installation includes photographs, hand-carved stone “crystals” and a single-channel video projection.

YUICHI TAKASAKA: FIRES IN THE NORTH Art Beatus, Vancouver, Aug 23-Oct 18 This Japanese-Canadian photographer spent seven years in Yellowknife, where he became enthralled with the phenomenon of the northern lights. Although Takasaka is now based in Lumby, BC, he returns to the North each year to pursue his love affair with the aurora borealis. His dazzlingly beautiful colour photos of this subject have been exhibited internationally and published in magazines, newspapers, books, films and DVDs, and on the Internet.

STORMS AND BRIGHT SKIES/INNER REALMS Burnaby Art Gallery, Burnaby, Sep 6-Nov 17 Two complementary exhibitions of historic Dutch art launch the fall season at the Burnaby Art Gallery. The first, Storms and Bright Skies, organized by the National Gallery of Canada, is composed of some 60 works on paper and represents the emergence of the landscape as a resonant and symbolic subject from the Dutch Golden Age to the 19th century. Jan van Goyen, Jacob van Ruisdael and Rembrandt van Rijn are among the revered artists represented. The second show, on loan from the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, examines the portrait subject in Dutch art and includes drawings, etchings and oil paintings.

ANN VANDERVELDE: NEW WORKS Petley Jones Gallery, Vancouver, Sep 12-26 Many of the mixed-media paintings by this Washington State artist can be seen as highly abstracted visions of the landscape. These works – subtitled “A Pool of Life Reflecting Water” – play with form, colour, texture and light to evoke different readings at different times and to suggest an evolving condition, both creative and philosophical. Vandervelde encourages individual interpretation, writing that “a painting has a life that draws upon others’ experiences, and that is what makes it so powerful.”

JOHN WYNNE: ANSPAYAXW Satellite Gallery, Vancouver, Sept 13-Oct 26 This immersive sound and photographic installation, organized by the UBC Museum of Anthropology, catches elements of Gitxsanimaax, an endangered indigenous language, through remembrances, songs and oral histories recounted by village elders. Wynne, a Canadian sound artist based in London, UK, has collaborated with linguist Tyler Peterson, artist/photographer Denise Hawrysio and members of the Gitxsan community at Anspayaxw (Kispiox) in northern BC to create a complex and engrossing work.

DANA CLAXTON: INDIAN CANDY Winsor Gallery, Vancouver, Sep 19-Nov 2 In her new series of large-scale colour photos, multi-media artist Dana Claxton investigates the Wild West archive, using written records to allude to the roles played by a cast of historic and modern characters, from Annie Oakley and Buffalo Bill Cody to Sitting Bull and Jay Silverheels (a.k.a. Tonto). Claxton has also been working with video footage of ancient imagery, shot at southern Alberta’s Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park. Powerful ironies abound in her use of juicy colours and seductive techniques to address serious and sometimes dire histories.

THE VOYAGE, OR THREE YEARS AT SEA PART VI Charles H. Scott Gallery, Vancouver, Sep 25-Nov 24 This is the sixth and final “log” in the Gallery’s series of exhibitions exploring our relationship to the sea. The local and international contemporary artists represented here – Marcus Coates, Beau Dick, Angus Ferguson, Glenn Kaino, Sean Lynch and Duke Riley – use their wide-ranging approaches to examine “sea lore.” The show sails from accounts of 16th-century Turkish pirate Piri Reis to false maps of a mythical island off Ireland and on to the chapter in Bram Stoker’s Dracula in which the vampire preys on the ship’s crew. Archival materials complement the contemporary artworks.

OLIVER HOCKENHULL Evergreen Cultural Centre Lobby, Coquitlam, Sep 27-Nov 1 This new-media artist, best known for his visionary film projects, has created an interactive digital installation in which words and cosmological images are projected in ever-changing configurations. Hockenhull uses as his starting point Franz Kafka’s parable, “The Imperial Message”, to investigate the nature of thought, the creation of meaning and the relationship between the individual and society. Hockenhull’s exhibit is part of a Tri-Cities art celebration on the theme of digital art and literature.

GREG GORMAN: PORTRAITS Pendulum Gallery, Vancouver, Sep 30-Oct 16 Angeleno Greg Gorman says that “a great photograph asks as many questions as it answers.” The questions posed by his black-and-white prints have to do with the nature of celebrity and our desire to see through the public persona of entertainers to the private individuals within. Gorman’s highly considered portraits of actors and musicians, young and old, hot and cool, evoke character while deploying elements of both mystery and revelation.

KIMSOOJA: UNFOLDING Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, Oct 11-Jan 26 This exhibition surveys three decades of work by the internationally acclaimed artist Kimsooja. Born in Taegui, Korea, and based in New York and Paris, she draws on the traditions of her homeland and the cultural practices of her adopted cities to create innovative, textile-based art in two and three dimensions. One of Kimsooja’s characteristic strategies is to wrap ordinary objects in colourful bed covers, alluding to the Korean tradition of bottari and calling up issues of migration, social change and shifting cultural identity.

Kristoff Steinruck
Kristoff Steinruck

Yuichi Takasaka
Yuichi Takasaka

Rembrandt van Rijn
Rembrandt van Rijn

Ann Vandervelde
Ann Vandervelde

John Wynne
John Wynne

Dana Claxton
Dana Claxton

Glenn Kaino / The Voyage
Glenn Kaino / The Voyage

Oliver Hockenhull
Oliver Hockenhull

Greg Gorman
Greg Gorman

Kimsooja
Kimsooja

 Sat, Sep 7, 2013