By Robin Laurence
Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey. To Mar 27
This ambitious group exhibition revisits one of art’s most compelling subjects, the human face – especially significant in this pandemic era, when we are forced to encounter each other virtually or attempt to read live expressions through obscuring masks. The works on display, by artists past and present, employ a broad swath of media, materials and forms, from psychologically charged oil portraits and expressionistic collages to art stamps and ink drawings, and from needlepoint tributes (to great philosophers) to ceramic sculptures, archival photographs and digital interfaces.
A MARKER TO MEASURE DRIFT
Kamloops Art Gallery, Kamloops. To Apr 3
Prepare to be visually and intellectually challenged by West Coast artist Scott Massey, who explores, among other things, photography as a sculptural medium and the possibilities of using light in both the creation and presentation of his work. In the words of curator Charo Neville, the artist draws upon research in quantum physics, cosmology and astronomy to “examine cosmological subjects as a way of understanding our place in this greater context.” The show surveys some 15 years of Massey’s practice and includes video, panoramic installation, and other photo-based or photo-referenced forms and media.
MELANIE DANIEL: GOIN’ WHERE THE CLIMATE SUITS MY CLOTHES
Kelowna Art Gallery, Kelowna. To Apr 4
Melanie Daniel’s remarkable paintings, sculptures and works on paper imagine a future of environmental disasters linked to global climate change. The narratives this internationally acclaimed artist conjures up pose existential questions of survival in often absurdist terms and paradoxically hallucinogenic colours. Her images are filled with angst but at the same time sound a note of hope, in the ways her human figures, either alone or in groups, attempt to remedy their catastrophic situations. After many years living abroad, Daniel has recently relocated to her hometown of Kelowna.
STATIONS: SOME RECENT ACQUISITIONS
Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver. To Apr 11
The modules by which this show is organized direct us to some of the gallery’s prime areas of research, including early experiments in cross-disciplinary expression in the 1950s and ’60s. One module ri s on women concrete poets and Fluxus artists through recently acquired works by the American-born, Berlin-based artist Dorothy Iannone. Another “sets up a conversation between” experimental filmmaker and multimedia artist Sam Perry and choreographer and Intermedia co-founder Helen Goodwin. Other artists and poets represented range from Robert Duncan to Rebecca Belmore and from Liz Magor to Beau Dick. Be there or be square.
INDIGENOUS HISTORY IN COLOUR
Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art, Vancouver. Feb 3 – May 9
In his concept-driven practice, Luke Parnell creates new approaches to Northwest Coast oral histories and formline traditions, drawing inspiration from his mixed Nisga’a and Haida heritage. Through paintings, sculptures, mixed-media installations and performance, he has explored contemporary social and political issues along with transformation narratives, his brilliant palette innovated from pop culture. Parnell’s art education spans cultures and institutions too, from apprenticing with a NWC master carver to earning a master’s of applied arts from Emily Carr University. He currently teaches at OCAD University, in Toronto.
LEGROOM FOR DAYDREAMING: LEVI GLASS
Xchanges Gallery and Studios, Victoria. Feb 19 – Mar 7
This solo exhibition features sculptures and computer-manipulated photographs that seem to alter the forms and functions of everyday objects, confounding our experience and expectations. Combining seemingly banal and incompatible elements, from plant pots and pull chains to boxing gloves and picnic hampers, these exquisitely crafted works “appropriate consumer designs into failed luxury objects.” A Canadian artist of Métis and German descent, Levi Glass has exhibited his art nationally and internationally.