October 6, 2017 to January 7, 2018
The Contemporary Art Gallery will present the most comprehensive exhibition to date of work by Vancouver-based artist Andrew Dadson. Although receiving great commercial attention and critical acclaim, Dadson has rarely shown in public institutions.
Comprising recent and new ambitious large-scale paintings, film and installation, Dadson has consistently engaged with the notion of boundaries in relation to space and time in his work, primarily through investigations with materiality, process and abstraction. His solo exhibition will feature pieces newly made for the exhibition as well as those previously never before exhibited in Canada.
Through different mediums – painting, film, and photography – Dadson explores the possibility to cross the perceptual boundaries of space, both physical and natural, and is thus reflected in his work in an attempt to subvert our perception and usual ways of looking at things. In the works on display repeated, reiterated actions, suggest performative actions to form a visual kaleidoscope. Monochromatic paintings, like sculptural elements integrated in their architectural setting, contain colour, which is poured, spread out, layered and scraped towards the edges, almost reaching the limits of the painting space, acquiring an almost organic, material thickness. It appears as tangible evidence of the artist’s action and of the process that led to the creation of the work. The black and white leave glimpses of other colours in filigree, in a cross-reference to the tradition of American abstract painting, from Rothko to Reinhardt, and Pollock to Rauschenberg.
The exhibition will also include an installation using plant forms and objects sprayed a single colour lit by intense daylight lamps. As the organic matter grows during the time of the exhibition, the unifying painted colour cracks and splinters to reveal the fresh natural colours beneath. Related to this we will show photographic works from Dadson’s artistic research into painting techniques in relation to those of photography. Using a biodegradable black, the artist has painted parts of the suburban landscape in Vancouver, conveying the desolate immensity of areas still unbuilt in his photographs. The result is a sort of temporary black hole, almost a deletion, and his shots immortalize a precise moment, which is destined to fade away when nature once again prevails over the artist’s action.MORE
July 11 to 20, 2017
Off-site: 524 West 26th Street Gallery, Chelsea, New York
By appointment only.
The Contemporary Art Gallery will present a private exhibition in New York by Vancouver-based artist, Andrew Dadson. Comprising a new commission supported by Vancouver contemporary menswear label wings+horns, the exhibition space will be transformed into a large-scale installation.
Dadson has consistently engaged with the notion of boundaries in relation to space and time in his work, primarily through investigations with materiality, process and abstraction. Through different mediums – painting, film, and photography – Dadson explores the possibility to cross the perceptual boundaries of space, both physical and natural, and is thus reflected in his work in an attempt to subvert our perception and usual ways of looking at things.
The installation will use plant forms and objects sprayed a single colour lit by intense daylight grow lamps. Each light is of a slightly different hue creating multiple shadows on the wall behind and introducing a further dimension to the overall composition. Combined with the large leafy plants, light, shadow and coloured forms produce a painting that evolves and shifts over time. As the organic matter is nurtured over the duration of the exhibition, the unifying painted colour begins to crack and splinter to reveal the fresh natural colours of the leaves beneath.
In partnership with wings+horns.
Since his first solo exhibition at the Helen Pitt Gallery, Vancouver, in 2003, Andrew Dadson has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in Canada and internationally, in France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland and the United States. Dadson was the 2011 recipient of The Brink Award held at the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle.
Dadson is represented by Galleria Franco Noero, Turin, Italy and David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles, USA.MORE
July 31 to September 3, 2017
Produced in partnership with the Contemporary Art Gallery, Access Gallery and Burrard Arts Foundation, Sikarnt Skoolisariyaporn, currently based between Bangkok and Düsseldorf, is the eighth and final artist to participate in Twenty-Three Days at Sea, the travelling artist residency originated by Access.
Through moving image, performance, text and installation, Skoolisariyaporn’s practice embraces perpetual complexity of space and time. She is interested in contingency of the seascape, a landscape which only reveals itself in the fourth dimension of time, in its constant shifting through wave and wind. The seascape not only suggests an alternative approach to our perception of spatiality, but to the way our formless reality operates. There is perhaps no image that better describes our neoliberal present than a mass of alienated consumer products–at once material and monetary–floating precariously in the middle of the sea. Skoolisariyaporn imagines that as sea levels rise with climate change, the ground of modern reason “floods,” and a new “superstitious liquid state” pours in to take its place.
Following her time aboard a container ship to Shanghai in Twenty-Three Days at Sea, Skoolisariyaporn will take up residence at the Burrard Marina Field House Studio, and through a number of programmed events, will explore the state of flux of the sea and transnational mode of production in relation to ‘Cargo Cult’, a cultural phenomenon practiced by indigenous peoples in Melanesia in the wake of their contact with the colonialist West. The work will be presented in an exhibition at Access Gallery opening September 8, 2017.
Sikarnt Skoolisariyaporn’s practice involves moving image, performance, text, and installation, and examines notions of human and non-human history embedded in geological spacetime: the history of mankind as remembered by the earth and its landscape. She is particularly interested in the landscape of the sea, because a “seascape” offers the potential to imagine a perpetual landscape that transcends the concept of “space” into “time.” In this way, she suggests, the landscape of the sea suggests a new way to understand and approach history and spatiality. Recent exhibitions and performances include Chongqing Changjiang Contemporary Museum, Chongqing, China; Biquini Wax, Mexico City; Deptford Lounge, London, UK; Kunstakademie Dusseldorf; Gruentaler 9, Berlin; and Five Years Project, London, UK. Skoolisariyaporn lives and works in London and Bangkok.MORE
June 30 to September 24, 2017
Alvin Balkind Gallery and Events Room
The Contemporary Art Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of largely unseen works on paper by one of Australia’s most visionary and critical artists, Gordon Bennett (1955–2014).
Working closely with the Estate of Gordon Bennett and IMA Brisbane the show will comprise a selection of works on paper including drawing, painting, watercolour, poetry, and essays from the early 1990s through to the early 2000s. Though rarely seen in exhibition contexts, Bennett’s drawing and script form the foundation of his practice. Paper is the site where imagery, words and ideas often found their first expression before being combined into the large-scale conceptual paintings for which Bennett is known. Despite their relatively small scale, works in Be Polite embrace rich layers of Western and Australian Indigenous art history and contemporary politics, a direction Bennett played a leading role in developing throughout the 1980s and continued to explore in his successful career. As such the shared colonial histories with Canada and in particular the plight of local First Nations are set in dialogue across continents. Issues, events and histories are given compelling voice in these provocative and often disturbing images.
Accompanying the exhibition is a publication featuring contributions by Helen Hughes, Julie Nagam and Ian McLean is published with Sternberg Press.
First presented at IMA, Brisbane and subsequently at Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts in 2016, the exhibition will evolve and be reconfigured with a new selection of works at the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver. This version will then travel to McMaster Museum of Art, Hamilton in 2018.
Be Polite is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, Australia Council for the Arts, Ministry of Communications and the Arts through Visions of Australia, The Estate of Gordon Bennett, Milani Gallery, and Sutton Gallery.
Bennett has been the subject of major solo presentations and retrospectives at Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, (touring, Europe), 1999–2000, Griffith University, Brisbane, (touring, Australia), 2004–2005, and the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, (touring, Australia), 2007–2009. International recognition and attention for Bennett’s work has been growing with his inclusion in the acclaimed dOCUMENTA (13), in Kassel in 2012, and in the 8th Berlin Biennale in 2014.MORE
A Sublime Vernacular: The Landscape Paintings
June 30 to September 24, 2017
B.C. Binning Gallery
A Sublime Vernacular: The Landscape Paintings of Levine Flexhaug offers the first overview of the extraordinary career of Levine Flexhaug (1918 – 1974), born in the Treelon area near Climax, Saskatchewan. It brings together approximately 450 of the artist’s paintings as well as several of his mural-sized works. An itinerant painter, he sold thousands of variations of essentially the same landscape painting in national parks, resorts, department stores and bars across western Canada from the late 1930s through the early 1960s. Whatever its variation, a Flexhaug image represents a Western icon, a silent unspoiled Eden that encapsulates the conventions of sublime landscape painting in a kind of painter’s shorthand. For the Contemporary Art Gallery it continues a strand in our programming where we present work by artists who for a variety of reasons, operated outside of the strict mainstream of the art world.
Long valued by a core of contemporary artists and collectors, Flexhaug turned formula painting into a source of wonder, not only because he churned out paintings so quickly using an assembly line method but because these works are so aesthetically compelling. Indeed, the lushness, variety, intensity, luminosity, touch and authentic feeling of his paintings are arguably non pareil in this genre. Interestingly, he hit upon the exact image that a poll taken by the Russian artists Komar and Melamid in the 1990s, determined is what Canadians most want to see in art.
As engaging as they are aesthetically, Flexhaug’s paintings also offer a point of entry for consideration of significant critical questions ranging from issues of taste, originality versus repetition in art, the appeal of landscape and its iconography – particularly in the Canadian context – to whether art can have integrity as art even if it is unapologetically commercial. Another issue raised by an examination of Flexhaug’s oeuvre is desire. Collecting is by its nature an activity with obsessive tendencies, but the numbers accumulated by those who collect Flexhaugs provide a particular opportunity to analyse aspects of the powerful emotional bonds that exist for many people with art and aesthetic objects. In the case of Flexhaug, more is always more.
Painting for Flexhaug was a way to make a living without having a regular job and he took great satisfaction in both supporting his family and satisfying his customers. Tracing his life from his early years in southern Saskatchewan through the byways of his peripatetic career following the Depression also provides a unique perspective from which to consider early modern Western Canadian social history, from aspects of identity to particular forms of consumption and leisure and recreation.
Alongside the exhibition, in our reading room we also present Flexie! All the Same and All Different, a feature-length documentary made in association with A Sublime Vernacular: The Landscape Paintings of Levine Flexhaug by Calgary filmmakers Gary Burns and Donna Brunsdale. The film not only tells the story of a little known artist but in its investigation of how people respond to the paintings and what they mean to them, is also a fascinating reflection on both the nature of art and the meaning of place.
The exhibition is curated by Nancy Tousley and Peter White. A publication examining Flexhaug’s art and career, the critical issues they raise and the larger social and cultural history they represent accompanies the exhibition.
In collaboration with MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina; Illingworth Kerr Gallery, Calgary; Art Gallery of Grande Prairie, Alberta; and Rodman Hall Art Centre, St. Catherines.
Exhibition is organized and circulated by the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie with support from the Museums Assistance Program of the Department of Canadian Heritage.MORE