Vancouver Art Gallery launches three new exhibitions

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Vancouver Art Gallery launches three new exhibitions
Pushpamala N, Sunhere Sapne (Golden Dreams), 1998 (printed 2020), hand-tinted silver gelatin print, Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Acquisition Fund.

VANCOUVER, BC.- Traditional Coast Salish Lands including the Musqueam (xʷməθkʷəy̓əm), Squamish (Sḵwx̱w7mesh xwumixw) and Tsleil-Waututh (səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ) Nations

The Vancouver Art Gallery announced today its line-up of new exhibitions. Drawing from a wide range of works, the Gallery presents unique ways to experience its permanent collection through amplifying kids’ voices; highlighting the diversity of the collection that tell multiple histories of our time; and through the lens of an important collector and donation.

Kids Take Over vividly captures the perspectives of elementary and high school students from Metro Vancouver, who were asked to respond to artworks by a range of artists from the Gallery’s collection, including Pitseolak Ashoona, Guud San Glans Robert Davidson, Gathie Falk, Chantal Gibson, Evan Lee, Ken Lum, Annie Pootoogook, Evelyn Roth, Brendan Lee Satish Tang, Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun and Zhang O, among many others.

Over a period of two months, students from a grade 1/2 class at Champlain Heights Elementary School, Vancouver; a grade 4/5 class at Queen Victoria Annex, Vancouver; and a grade 11/12 at Carson Graham Secondary School, North Vancouver were invited to write down their thoughts, create their own drawings and collectively move their bodies, using the artworks as inspiration. Students also had the opportunity to directly engage with two of the exhibition’s featured artists Evan Lee and Brendan Lee Satish Tang who gave presentations to the classes. Spirited, curious, thoughtful, whimsical and funny, the students’ responses are scattered throughout the exhibition. The Gallery’s rotunda and alcoves have been transformed into dynamic interactive spaces that will feature regular programming for families and kids, including a workshop for teens led by artist Chantal Gibson. Kids Take Over engages with children and youth to highlight their creativity—while cultivating a future generation of artists and art lovers. The exhibition is affiliated with the Kids in Museums’ Takeover Day initiative.

RESTLESS: Recent Acquisitions features nine recent acquisitions that reflect the exhibition and collecting program of the Gallery’s Institute of Asian Art. The exhibition title refers to the underlying sense of movement reverberating through the featured artworks—whether through geographical shifts due to travel and migration or urban landscapes changing over time. It also speaks to radically altering perspectives and structural paradigms: the widespread decentring or repositioning of power currently coursing around the globe.

Young-Hae Chung Heavy Industries’ reworking of a 1930s Charlie Chan film and Ho Tam’s 1990s prints address ongoing racial stereotyping of Asian cultures within a North American context. Henry Tsang and Gu Xiong confront the human costs of globalization and migration, while MadeIn Company and Jin-me Yoon engage with the urban environment to reflect the displacement that often underlies the development of modern cities. Sunil Gupta documents sexual liberation in an emerging gay enclave in New York City in the years preceding the AIDS epidemic, while Pushpamala N. immerses herself in a cinematic world of fantasy to satirize the trope of the femme fatale. Paul Wong brings to the fore questions surrounding Hong Kong sovereignty, evoking the complex histories and themes of transnationalism and cultural assimilation that percolate throughout the exhibition.

The new exhibition Everything Under the Sun: In Memory of Andrew Gruft pays tribute to the late art collector Andrew Gruft (1937–2021), whose generosity and support over the past two decades have been crucial to the development of the Vancouver Art Gallery’s collection of photographs. The exhibition features local, national and international lens-based artists and includes a broad selection of artwork from both historical and contemporary periods. Featured artists include Eugne Atget, Anne Brigman, Karin Bubaš, Becky Cohen, Robert Frank, Helen Levitt, Oriol Maspons, Gabriel Orozco, Issei Suda and William Henry Fox Talbot, among others.

The Gallery’s 2004 acquisition of almost four hundred photographs from the Claudia Beck and Andrew /Gruft Collection—most of them as gifts—marked a radical shift in its collection. Prior to that time, the Gallery’s holdings included little in the way of historical and modern photography; with the addition of these works, it became a collection of international significance overnight. The collection’s importance grew over the following years through regular donations by Gruft and his partner Claudia Beck. Their extraordinary generosity, intelligence and passion will play an important role in the Gallery’s programs for decades to come.

Everything Under The Sun: In Memory of Andrew Gruft is one of Capture Photography Festival's Selected Exhibitions for 2022. As part of the Capture Speaker Series, please join Grant Arnold, Audain Curator of British Columbia Art, and Sophie Hackett, Curator of Photography at the Art Gallery of Ontario, on April 26, 6 pm to 7 pm. CLICK HERE for event information and registration.

“The Vancouver Art Gallery collection is an unparalleled resource that preserves the cultural history of British Columbia through a diversity of artworks and forms. The Gallery researches, cares for and presents the collection on behalf of the public as a legacy for future generations,” states CEO and Director Anthony Kiendl, “through these activities, we create new knowledge and contribute to the quality of life in British Columbia.”

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