The Poetics of Space

Kamloops Art Gallery, Kamloops, BC

By Michael Turner
Taking its title from French philosopher Gaston Bachelard’s 1958 book of the same name, this Vancouver Art Gallery generated exhibition brings together work from its permanent collection, four works from the Kamloops Art Gallery (KAG) collection and “a few key loans” to examine the ways in which artists contemplate and execute space – “from its optical perceptions, to its emotional impact and, finally, to its geographical and topological limits.”
Structurally, the exhibition is presented in two sections. The first alludes to formal developments in the early 20th century, when artists such as Paul Cézanne challenged traditional notions of spatial depth and perspective as evoked through the use of illusory techniques. For Cézanne, space, and our relationship to it, is more fragmentary; to illustrate this he broke up the picture plane into coloured blocks, laying the foundation for Post-Impressionism, Cubism and Eisensteinian montage. The second section has a more social focus and is concerned with intimacy and memory, as exemplified through works that emphasize house and home.
The artists represented in this exhibition are largely Canadian, mostly from the West Coast. They are Barbara Astman, Maxwell Bates, Rebecca Belmore, B.C. Binning, Lee Bontecou, Roland Brener, Bertram Brooker, Karin Bubaš, Arabella Campbell, Emily Carr, Ian Carr-Harris, Share Corsault, Christos Dikeakos, Michael Drebert, Lawren Harris, Owen Kydd, Beatrice Lennie, Landon Mackenzie, Myfanwy MacLeod, Scott McFarland, Jason McLean, Alex Morrison, Ben Nicholson, James Nizam, Dennis A. Oppenheim, Annie Pootoogook, Richard Prince, Pudlo Pudlat, Abraham Rattner, Kyohei Sakaguchi, Reece Terris, Ron Tran, Renée Van Halm and William Vazan.

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