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Modern Life: Art and Design
in British Columbia, 1945-1960

Vancouver Art Gallery
Vancouver BC thru Oct, 2004

Murray Dunne - Table Lamp
Murray Dunne, Table Lamp (c.1949) copper and electrical fittings, [Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver BC, through Oct]


Between 1945-1960, the cities of Vancouver and Victoria, BC became recognized for outstanding and innovative enterprises in architecture and applied design. A Modern Life: Art and Design in British Columbia showcases the work of 46 artists, architects and designers of the time, and includes more than one hundred examples of designs that incorporate form and function.

Modern design infiltrated many aspects of post-war life in Vancouver and Victoria as artists strived to improve the quality of living through design. New kinds of collaborations brought together people of diverse talents and occupations. A Modern Life re-visits the ideals and ambitions of painters, ceramic artists, architects, interior designers, landscape designers, furniture makers and weavers during this time. Two perspectives were tantamount: geometric abstraction and organic form. The exhibition also recreates elements from Design for Living, a controversial show of modern materials and creative fabrications exhibited at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 1949.

The exhibtion features work by Sybil Andrews, Peter Aspell, Alistair McCready Bell, B.C. Binning, Bruno Bobak, Molly Lamb Bobak, Alice Bradbury, Peter Cotton, Reginald Dixon, Orville Fisher, Jack Hardman, Lawren Harris, Robert Hume, Patricia K. Irwin, Don Jarvis, Ann Kipling, Zoltan Kiss, Roy Kiyooka, William Koochin, Beatrice Lennie, Jock Macdonald, Sasha Makokin, Wayne Ngan, Toni Onley, Llewellyn Petley-Jones, Jack Shadbolt, Takao Tanabe, Ronald Thom, William Percival Weston and Jim Willer, and many others.

Mia Johnson

All material © 1996–2006  Wed, Jun 2, 2004