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 Back  Vignettes | British Columbia | February-March 2011

By Robin Laurence

RODNEY GRAHAM AND TACITA DEAN: THE VOYAGE OR THREE YEARS AT SEA – PART 1 Charles H. Scott Gallery, Vancouver, closes February 20 Two internationally acclaimed artists, Vancouver’s Rodney Graham and Berlin-based British artist Tacita Dean, are featured in the first of a three-part series of exhibitions on the theme of the sea. The image of the lighthouse, in both Graham’s self-portrait as a lonely lighthouse keeper and Dean’s film, inspired by a 1968 attempt to sail solo around the world, unifies this show. The two works are complemented by historical artifacts and archival materials borrowed from the Vancouver Maritime Museum and the Vancouver Archives.

TIME (TIME AGAIN): LATE WORKS BY LIONEL THOMAS + JOHN VANDERPANT West Vancouver Museum, West Vancouver, closes February 26 This exhibition juxtaposes works by two distinct West Coast modernists, finding formal and thematic likenesses between Lionel Thomas’s paintings of 1985–1987 and John Vanderpant’s photographs of 1929–1936. Guest curated by the delightfully named Collective for Advanced and Unified Studies in the Visual Arts (CAUSA).

MICHAEL NICOLL YAHGULANAAS – RED: A HAIDA MANGA Penticton Art Gallery, Penticton, closes March 13 The 108 handpainted illustrations featured here tell the story of the orphan Red and his sister Jaada and are executed in the “Haida manga” style invented by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas. This innovative artist invests his work with humour, sorrow, and a passionate commitment to Haida history and oral culture. At the same time, he employs a contemporary comic-book style inspired by Japanese manga, making his art accessible to a wide audience.

THE ART OF JIMMY TSUTOMU MIRIKITANI Japanese Canadian National Museum, Burnaby, closes March 26 The story of a remarkable life in remarkable times is told through mixedmedia works of endearing innocence and directness. Jimmy Mirikitani has survived war, internment, homelessness, and the attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York. His art records both the bleak and the beautiful, from internment camps to cats, flowers and fruit. Screenings of the award-winning The Cats of Mirikitaniare scheduled during the run of the show (jcnm.ca/special-events/cats-of-mirikitani).

IN TRANSITION: NEW ART FROM INDIA Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey, closes March 27 In the 1990s, economists were predicting that the 21st century would belong to Asia. This exhibition demonstrates an artistic response to the truth of that forecast. Sculpture, installation, digital media, and works that combine video with painting address the confrontation between traditional cultural values and the rapidly changing realities of 21st-century life in India. Globalization and India’s recent emergence as an economic powerhouse have fuelled the challenging work on view.

TEGAN FORBES: 250 REMIX Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, closes April 3 Tegan Forbes is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work often examines our experience of public space. For The Lab at the AGGV, and working in collaboration with members of the Victoria community, she gathered together an array of objects and images, from street art to collectibles. Through them, she establishes “the social language” of place and demonstrates the way cultural narratives are constructed.

MAX LIBOIRON AND JAN KABATOFF Touchstones Nelson, Max Liboiron, closes April 10 and Jan Kabatoff, closes March 27 Both these artists work with environmental themes. Max Liboiron’s Trashscapes and Rubbish Topographies comprises installations of discarded and found objects that comment on the ugly mate of over-consumption: conspicuous waste. Jan Kabatoff’s Ice Flows and Sound Retreats alludes to global warming and includes a huge, chandelier-like sculpture composed of 4000 plastic bottles containing samples of glacial water from Arctic Canada.

REBECCA BELMORE: THE NAMED AND THE UNNAMED Satellite Gallery, Vancouver, February 4-April 10 Presented as part of the Faces exhibition at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, this video installation by Rebecca Belmore is a lamentation for the murdered and missing women of Vancouver’s notorious Downtown Eastside. Projected onto a screen dotted with light bulbs, the video records a haunting performance Belmore delivered in the DTES in 2002. Roses, thorns, torn clothing nailed to a post, names written on the body and screamed into the void, all surge powerfully together in an unforgettable work – one of Belmore’s best.

SWEATERLODGE UNLATCHED Museum of Vancouver, closes May 1 This wonderful installation of a gigantic orange Polartec fleece sweater is a recapitulation of Canada’s entry at the 2006 Venice Biennial of Architecture. Designed by local artists/architects Bill Pechet and Stephanie Robb, it is over 12 metres high and 26 metres across, and fills the gallery with warmth and softly glowing light. With wit and fondness, the work alludes to a number of Vancouver-ish themes, including an enthusiasm for outdoor activities and a commitment to green living.

UNREAL Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, closes September 5 In anticipation of the historic Surrealism show opening at the VAG in May, the gallery has organized an exhibition of contemporary art that occupies the same irrational and dream-like territory. Drawn mostly from its permanent collection and organized by chief curator Daina Augaitis, the works on view “delve into…desire, fantasy, anxiety and the absurd”. Look for provocative and unsettling art by everyone from Cindy Sherman and Paul McCarthy to Luanne Martineau and Jason McLean.

Tacita Dean
Tacita Dean

John Vanderpant
John Vanderpant

Michael John Yahgulanaas
Michael John Yahgulanaas

Jimmy Tsutomu Mirikitani
Jimmy Tsutomu Mirikitani

Ranbir Kaleka
Ranbir Kaleka

Tegan Forbes
Tegan Forbes

Jan Kabatoff
Jan Kabatoff

Rebecca Belmore
Rebecca Belmore

Bill Pechet and Stephanie Robb
Bill Pechet and Stephanie Robb

Marcel Dzama
Marcel Dzama

 Mon, Feb 7, 2011