By Robin Laurence
LUKE JERRAM: MUSEUM OF THE MOON
Contemporary Calgary, Calgary. To Mar 15
As one of Contemporary Calgary’s inaugural exhibitions in its new home at the former Centennial Planetarium, Museum of the Moon awes visitors with its spectacular size and imagery. Consisting of a luminous scale model of Earth’s moon, this astonishing work by British artist Luke Jerram measures six metres in diameter and features highly detailed imagery of the lunar surface. Suspended from the top of a 13-metre-high dome, the work is complemented by music from award-winning composer Dan Jones.
MITCH KERN: CONUNDRUMS
Herringer Kiss Gallery, Calgary. Feb 1 – 29
Photographer, curator, critic and educator Mitch Kern has created a challenging series of digital images that depict a fictional environment in which nature and culture are absurdly conflated. Drawing his iconography from the life and landscape of southern Alberta, he asks viewers to consider who exactly “owns” the land in which humans and animals may or may not coexist. An associate professor at the Alberta University of the Arts, Kern has worked across fi ne art, commercial and documentary photography.
RITA MCKEOUGH: DARKNESS IS AS DEEP AS THE DARKNESS IS
Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff. Feb 1 – May 31
This multimedia show, by the acclaimed interdisciplinary artist and musician Rita McKeough, imagines a dark, subterranean realm, where complex systems of animal and plant life are threatened by human enterprises such as urban development and resource extraction. Governor General’s Award winner McKeough is renowned for addressing social and environmental issues, her combination of humour and criticality, and her installations incorporating electronic media, sound and performance.
MAXWELL BATES: THE IN CROWD
Glenbow, Calgary. Feb 8 – May 24
Having spent years balancing careers as an architect and artist, Maxwell Bates (1906-1980) was forced by a stroke in 1961 to give up the former and support himself as the latter. Thrust into a world of gallerists, collectors, exhibition openings and artworld parties, he dedicated his expressionist painting to these subjects, as seen in this show. Borrowed from public and private collections, Bates’ figurative works of the 1960s and ’70s convey a wild energy that is both engaging and satirical.
GAVIN LYNCH: OMEGA
Peter Robertson Gallery, Edmonton. Mar 12 – Apr 7
Although he is based in Wakefi eld, Quebec, after art studies in Vancouver and Ottawa, Gavin Lynch evinces a vivid feeling for landscape that may have originated in his northern British Columbia childhood. He handles natural forms in a collage-like way, juxtaposing sharply delineated forms with areas of more painterly fluidity. His palette also embodies contrasts between the naturalistic and the hallucinatory. For Lynch, landscape symbolizes “time, eternity, change, impermanence, life and death.”