By Robin Laurence
ONE ON ONE: INHERITANCE: AMY MALBEUF Kelowna Art Gallery, Kelowna, Apr 1-Jul 9 Métis artist Amy Malbeuf juxtaposes traditional and contemporary mediums to powerful effect. Her mediums and materials range from caribou hair tufting and beadwork to performance, video, installation, and altered found objects. Guest curator Cathy Mattes writes that Malbeufs mixed-media works evoke contemplation about the value of personal, cultural, and artistic inheritance to Indigenous artists. Ideas of identity and place are called up as they intersect with the seemingly neutral space of the gallery.
TRACES OF WORDS: ART AND CALLIGRAPHY FROM ASIA Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver, May 11-Oct 9 Historic calligraphy meets contemporary art in this expansive exhibition, which ranges across place, culture, and medium. From ancient Sumerian cuneiform bricks to contemporary Afghan graffiti, and from Han Dynasty bronze mirrors to an interactive digital video installation from Tokyos teamLab, the show explores what MOA curator Fuyubi Nakamura describes as the powerful duality that emerges when the written word becomes a medium or canvas.
ART SCHOOL HIGH Gordon Smith Gallery of Canadian Art, North Vancouver, May 13-Aug 26 Organized by writer, curator, and art historian Patrik Andersson, this group show explores the fraught condition of our high school years, with all their attendant concerns of conformity, rebelliousness, identity, marginalization, and uncomfortable adolescence. Artists include many of Vancouvers leading lights: Karen Bubas, John Collins, Rodney Graham, Scott Livingstone, Ken Lum, Kyla Mallet, Jean MacRae, Shannon Oksanen, Kathy Slade, Ron Terada, Neil Wedman, and David Wisdom.
PICTURES FROM HERE Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, May 19-Sep 4 This exhibition, from the VAGs collection, surveys photographic and video works produced in Vancouver over the past four decades art that put Vancouver on the international map. With a focus on images of the urban environment of Greater Vancouver, the show marks an important shift in visual art practice, from the romantic landscape tradition to a more conceptual approach to the subject of place. Artists include Jeff Wall, Ian Wallace, Stan Douglas, Paul Wong, and Marian Penner Bancroft.
KIMONO CULTURE Nikkei National Museum, Burnaby, May 20-Sep 3 The kimono endures as one of the most compelling symbols of traditional Japanese culture. It is also deeply rooted in the core aesthetic of Japanese life. Guest curated by Hitomi Harama, the show uses the kimono as a means of showcasing the beauty of Japanese culture. It also demonstrates many aspects of this wondrous garment, from its philosophical underpinnings to the art of its design and production, including dying and weaving techniques, design motifs, materials, and structure.
JACK SHADBOLT: MOMENTUM Touchstones Nelson Museum of Art and History, Nelson, Jun 10-Sep 17 One of the West Coasts lea-ding modernist artists and teachers, the late Jack Shadbolt is represented here by sketches, silkscreened posters, painterly abstractions, and lithographs. Born in England in 1909, Shadbolt grew up in Victoria, where he began his art studies and befriended Emily Carr, an important influence on his development as an artist. After travelling widely, he settled in Vancouver, where he taught and produced prolifically, achieving acclaim for his vivid and expressive nature-based abstractions.
DAVID ROBINSON: THE CONDITIONAL FIGURE Pendulum Gallery, Vancouver, Jun 19-Jul 21 Strongly identified with his realistic sculptures of the naked human figure, David Robinson often grapples with metaphysical themes. In this exhibition of large-scale sculptures, he treats the figure as a conditional entity, in a dynamic rather than static state. Posed rowing in an abstracted and elongated boat or tangled in a length of cloth, these naked beings are both connected with and isolated from their surroundings. Art historical references and present-day psychological observations abound.
OUT OF CONCEALMENT Haida Gwaii Museum, Skidegate, Jun 16-Dec 31 Created by Haida artist and environmental lawyer Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson, the exhibition conveys origin and oral traditions from the Haida Nation about female supernatural beings. This collaborative, three-dimensional storytelling installation encompasses photographs of the artist in costume, juxtaposed with shots of the Haida Gwaii landscape and seascape, along with music, sound and dialogue. By these means, Williams-Davidson shows viewers that the spiritual and natural worlds are connected.
DREAM ISLANDS Nanaimo Art Gallery, Nanaimo, Jul 21-Sep 17 The theme of this group show is the complex intersection between fine art and craft. Five emerging artists have been invi-ted to take the practice of the late Salt Spring Island ceramicist Lari Robson as their inspiration in creating new works. A devotee of the Bernard Leach/Shoji Hamada school of ceramics and a student of Japanese folk pottery traditions, Robson made objects that artist Julie Andreyev has described as exemplifying the shibui aesthetic: austere, subdued, plain, simple, serene.
LAWREN HARRIS: CANADIAN VISIONARY Kamloops Art Gallery, Kamloops, Jul 15-Sep 9 A founding member of the Group of Seven, Lawren Stewart Harris is acclaimed as one of the most important figures in the history of Canadian art. This exhibition, organized from the collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, includes Harriss nation-defining paintings of the Canadian wilderness, from the lakes and forests of northern Ontario to the lofty peaks of the Rocky Mountains. It also examines his late-career abstractions, in which he sought to express the universali-zing principles of Theosophy.
Sisyu + teamLab
Furisode Bridal Kimono, artist unknown