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 Back  Vignettes | Alberta | April-May 2011

By Robin Laurence

LAWREN HARRIS: ABSTRACTIONS Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton, through September 11 Best known for his 1920s landscapes of the Canadian wilderness, Group of Seven leader Lawren Harris made a significant commitment to abstraction in the 1930s. This small exhibition of non-objective paintings demonstrates, among other things, the impact of his theosophical beliefs on his art. Through colour, light, and simplified form, Harris sought to express "the spiritual essence of nature".

YOUSUF KARSH, REGARDING HEROES Glenbow Museum, Calgary, April 2-June 15 Armenian-Canadian Yousuf Karsh was one of the 20th century's most famous portrait photographers. If he had not shot a single other image, his world-famous 1941 portrait of a defiant Winston Churchill would have forever secured his reputation. This exhibition, which includes images of Albert Einstein, Ernest Hemingway, Audrey Hepburn, and Pierre Elliott Trudeau, reveals how our conception of greatness has been shaped by one man's vision.

IAN JOHNSTON: ARCHAEOLOGY OF PROCESS Paul Kuhn Gallery, Calgary, April 9-May 7 Nelson-based artist Ian Johnston is showing a collection of sculptures, in stoneware and porcelain, based on everyday objects. From cell phones to plastic bags to brooms, these forms symbolize the archaeological remains of the future. Johnston spins narratives off them, suggesting how our culture may some day be interpreted based on the evidence of our consumption and waste.

TRADITIONS ILLUMINATED: CELEBRATING THE HALLS The Art Gallery of Calgary, Calgary, April 29-August 27 Art is clearly in the blood of the Hall family. John, Joice, and their daughter Janine all pursue highly keyed variations on contemporary realism, their subjects ranging from still life to landscape to portraiture. Son and brother Jarvis specializes in hand-crafted picture frames, themselves works of art in their carving and gilding.

JEREMY DRUMMOND: 65-POINT PLAN FOR SUSTAINABLE LIVING  The New Gallery, Calgary, May 5-June 11 This exhibition by Jeremy Drummond, a Canadian artist based in Richmond, Virginia, consists of 65 aerial photographs of subdivisions from every Canadian province and US state. Each subdivision image has been digitally reconstructed to represent an enclosed geographical space, with no roads leading in or out. Taken as a whole, the installation evokes notions around security and sustainability, from feudal fiefdoms to contemporary gated communities.

Lawren Harris
Lawren Harris

Yousuf Karsh
Yousuf Karsh

Ian Johnston
Ian Johnston

Justine Hall
Justine Hall

Jeremy Drummond
Jeremy Drummon

 Tue, Apr 5, 2011