By Robin Laurence
RICHARD LUKACS: NEW WORK Winsor Gallery, Vancouver, through June 11 Lukacs gained international attention in the 1980s and 90s with his colourful, large-scale history paintings, often featuring figures drawn from European skinhead culture. His new body of mostly monochromatic grey abstractions, therefore, may surprise many viewers. Based on the grisaille tradition, these works make ghostly reference to a number of disciplines and practices, and address the tradition of painting after the end of painting.
SHARY BOYLE Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, June 17-August 21 Toronto artist Shary Boyle takes on the human figure in every scale and medium, from audio-visual performance to porcelain miniatures, and from oil paintings to mixed-media installation. In this touring exhibition, she combines vulnerability, pathos, humour, fantasy, and raunchy sexuality in an utterly individual way. At the same time, she challenges our ideas of truth and beauty.
BRENDA JOY LEM: HOMAGE TO THE HEART Richmond Art Gallery, Richmond, through June 12 This installation of richly layered images and text muses on themes of memory, spirituality, and the enduring heart. Employing archival photos, family snapshots, and transcribed oral histories, Brenda Joy Lem chronicles her grandparents arrival in Canada over 100 years ago. She follows the family through years of grinding work, but also reveals happier aspects of social and recreational life to create a complex tapestry of time, change and belonging.
MARTIN CREED: COLLECTED WORKS The Rennie Collection, Vancouver, through October 22 From galleries filled with party balloons to prints made from pieces of broccoli, no medium or material is too unexpected for Turner Prize-winning British artist and musician Martin Creed. The show features art drawn exclusively from the Rennie Collection, and programming includes individual and collective performance pieces, such as Work No 850 in which physically fit volunteers sprint through the gallery at fixed intervals.
THE OTHER EMILY: REDEFINING EMILY CARR Royal BC Museum, Victoria, through October 10 Through new research and the uncovering of seldom-seen images and objects, this exhibition focuses on the early life of the iconic Emily Carr. It also counters our preconceptions about one of Canadas most famous artists. Curated from the RBCM collection, the show presents us with an array of art, artifacts and archival material, including Carrs early paintings, drawings and sketches; diaries, manuscripts and letters; period clothing; and First Nations art. Especially fascinating are historic photographs of Carr as a young woman, well before her 1927 breakthrough onto the national stage and into our mythic imagination.
GLOBAL NATURE Kamloops Art Gallery, Kamloops, June 11-September 3 Through their individual photographic projects and installations, Lorraine Gilbert and Sarah Anne Johnson press us to examine the relationship between photography and issues related to the environment, eco-tourism, and the ecology movement. Both artists have chronicled tree planting in areas devastated by human enterprise, and both have documented excursions into northerly realms. In all of their work, human beings come to fraught terms with their increasingly vulnerable planet.
MARIANNE LOVINK: UNNATURAL ORDER Jennifer Kostuik Gallery, Vancouver, June 16-July 10 Toronto sculptor Marianne Lovink has stated that she aims to create evocative, enigmatic work that challenges perceptions. Her new cut steel forms play with scale, dimension, and the relationship between scientific observation and unfettered imagination. The shapes Lovink creates could be tiny sea creatures or bursting seed pods or some alien life form from a yet-to-be discovered realm of existence.
INUIT PRINTS: JAPANESE INSPIRATION Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver, June 19-September 25 Subtitled James Houston, Unichi Hiratsuka and the Inuit Print Tradition, this fascinating exhibition uses rare prints produced in both Japan and Cape Dorset during the late 1950s and early 1960s to examine the direct influence of one cultures print tradition upon the origins of another. Houston, widely known as the person who stimulated the creation of modern Inuit art and introduced it to southern Canada and the wider world, travelled to Japan to study direct transfer print techniques with Hiratsuka, then took this knowledge to the Canadian Arctic where a new art form was born.
15TH ANNUAL CANADIAN GLASS SHOW West End Gallery, Victoria, July 1-September 30 The works of more than 40 distinguished glass artists from across the country are spotlighted in this exhibition, which will change displays throughout its run. The work that launches the show includes Paull Rodrigues sensuous, multi-coloured vessels, Catherine Hibbitss organic sculptures of reflective, globular forms, and Andrea Ripleys whimsical and luscious glass cupcakes on a blue stand.
EWAN MCNEIL Pendulum Gallery, Vancouver, July 4-July 23 Two disparate bodies of work come together in this solo show by Vancouver artist Ewan McNeil. The first consists of realist paintings, based on photographs of contemporary cityscapes and construction sites. They are executed in spooky black and white and conjure up sci-fi scenarios in which human beings have disappeared from the urban scene. The second group of works comprises humourously raw, architectonic sculptures, created out of wood, cardboard, old maps and scraps of metal.
Brenda Joy Lem
Redefining Emily Carr
Sarah Anne Johnson