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  • Jürgen Partenheimer The Archive – The Raven Diaries September 12 to November 9, 2014 The Contemporary Art Gallery presents the first solo exhibition in Canada of work by acclaimed German artist Jürgen Partenheimer. Reflecting the diversity of the artist’s practice, the exhibition comprises works on paper, text, printmaking, ceramics and sculpture, produced in Vancouver in spring 2014 during his recent residency as the Audain Distinguished Artist-in-Residence, hosted by Emily Carr University of Art + Design . Partenheimer’s work is essentially abstract; his drawings and paintings are remarkable for their fragile beauty, whilst sculpture and ceramic work, suggesting some usefulness, remain elusive with respect to any specific function. His visual language, the particular form of poetic abstraction, and his life-long interest in notions of representation with consideration of locality, space and place, suggest a key resonance with artistic practice in the city, asserting continuity between these forms and an experience of daily life. The imaginary archive that gives the exhibition and associated book its title provides the framework for the exhibition based on the oeuvre of the artist. They are the visible expression of both intellect and emotion carrying traces of their process, temporality and correspondence with other objects. To this end, in Vancouver the exhibition has a subtitle, The Raven Diaries, referencing the symbol and characteristics of the Raven to west coast First Nations culture, while simultaneously drawing analogies to similar figures in cultural myths elsewhere in the world, and especially to the role of the artist as trickster, representative of a catalyst for change in life, for creativity and humour. Additionally, a selection of Partenheimer’s ceramic works will be on view at the Museum of Anthropology, UBC, Vancouver in the Koerner European Ceramics Gallery. Reflecting Partenheimer’s interest in the interconnectivity of cultural disciplines, in October we will host performances of electro-acoustic music by Vancouver Electronic Ensemble as part of the Vancouver New Music Festival. MORE
    Jürgen Partenheimer, studio of the artist, Vancouver, 2014. Courtesy of the artist. Photograph David Simmonds.
  • The Contemporary Art Gallery presents the first Canadian solo presentation of work by Swedish artist Gunilla Klingberg, two new interrelated large-scale commissions across the gallery façade and off-site, both challenging and exploiting the opportunities presented at each location.   Klingberg’s practice is characterized by the intersection of received knowledge, folk beliefs, popular culture and divergent cultural activities. Her work draws our attention to how complicated the connections between these systems are, but it also plays with the things that arise in this encounter, a pivotal feature being an interest in what is produced by the hybridization of distinct cultures, traditions and geographies. The disparate and heterogeneous are interwoven creating meanings that mutate to form a new context.   At the gallery and the Yaletown-Roundhouse Station, two murals of seemingly quasi-oriental pattern appear to evoke cosmic mandalas, transforming the individual spaces and enveloping the viewer in light and colour, shifting patterns and reflections. Klingberg’s work surrounds us. We are seduced, made part of a special atmosphere, immersed within the work rather than just looking at it. Her interest in using patterns and movement to manipulate our seeing, to influence our state of consciousness and our sensory impressions, has links with Op Art and the psychedelic movement of the late sixties, appropriate touchstones in the recent history of the counter culture in this part of the world.   However, what at first glance appears to recall a certain set of values and moments in time has another dimension, a different shared experience. If we look more closely we see that the intricate ornamentation, the symmetrically repeated symbols of these murals, is made up of something much more mainstream, corporate logos from Canadian low cost and high street stores. Concepts are intertwined: while science might appropriate metaphors from mythologies or New-Age ideas borrow from the language of the natural sciences, here spirituality merges with everyday consumer culture. Klingberg suggests that they are analogous, that both seem to promise the same thing: a state in which nothing is uncomfortable or threatening – the possibility of total, rapid satisfaction of our needs and desires, accessible to everyone. The images are so familiar that we no longer think about them, yet they present a subconscious influence uniting us in a no-man’s land between the public and the private. She evokes a spirit of community, or of communality, and poses questions regarding what it would be to have something in common.   Amid the proliferation of progressively similar goods it is the small, meaningful differences that count. The world around us is increasingly transformed into a surface filled with signs—computer screens, urban space, advertisements, the pages of newspapers— the most tangible properties being disposability and change. It is these surfaces that concern Klingberg. Our urban environment, its dwindling public places increasingly invaded by homogenous architecture and development, the objects we own, all constitute an intricate system of codes, messages and ideologies, our choices and participation tantamount to consuming. The boundary between art and design is often drawn along the line of utility and usefulness. But the edge becomes increasingly elastic when the difference between the values of these forms depends not so much on their functionality as on their seductiveness or power of rhetorical persuasion. Thus Klingberg’s work moves further than a mere critique of brand fetishism, the lure of contemporary global labels, beyond just pointing things out and rejecting them. It poses the awkward question of whether being alternative to a mainstream or on the “outside” is any longer possible. Might a more critical and appropriate assessment lie in revealing and acknowledging the subtle and insidious way in which we are all drawn into a sense of fascination with the things that surround us. Through her work we find ourselves in a situation in which we feel the power of images and beliefs being examined. We are all complicit.   The exhibition is supported by Iaspis, the Swedish Arts Grants Committee’s International Programme for Visual Artists.   MORE
    Gunilla Klingberg, Brand New View, 2014. Vinyl adhesives Installation view, Malmö Konsthall 2014 Photo: Helene Toresdotter.
  • Go to www.cagauction.com to view all the works for auction. CAG 26th Annual Gala & Art Auction Saturday, November 8th, 2014 6.30pm onwards Rosewood Hotel Georgia 801 West Georgia Street, Vancouver Join us at this important benefit event for the Contemporary Art Gallery. Your support allows us to continue our crucial role as the only free independent public art gallery dedicated exclusively to engaging audiences with the very best in contemporary art from Vancouver, Canada and abroad. MORE
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    08 Nov, 2014 – 08 Nov, 2014
    Scott Massey, Spectrum Study 5 (Centre of the Universe), 2014. Courtesy the artist. One of the thirty-eight works by emerging and well known artists up for auction. View all of the works at www.cagauction.com
  • The CAG’s final exhibition of 2014 is the presentation of a major survey of acclaimed Japanese artist Shimabuku. The exhibition will include installation, video, drawings and performance never before seen in Canada. Shimabuku holds a fascination with the natural world and the countless manifestations of human culture within it. Incongruity characterizes much of his work, inverting the way things are usually seen to encourage us to break with established habits and to enjoy experiences as if happening for the first time. Shimabuku often picks up the theme of the journey in his work, the means by which difference occurs through translation in both time and space. In his video Then, I decided to give a tour of Tokyo to the octopus from Akashi (2000) we see him with an octopus in a fishtank taking a Shinkansen train to Tokyo, making touristic visits to the Tokyo Tower and the famous Tsukiji fish market before returning the octopus back home in the Akashi Sea. We can easily imagine how weird our world must have seemed to the octopus whilst being reminded of how “wonderful” such a creature is from our point of view. MORE
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    21 Nov, 2014 – 11 Jan, 2015
    Shimabuku, Something that Floats / Something that Sinks (2008). Courtesy of the artist.
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Current Exhibitions

Jürgen Partenheimer
The Archive – The Raven Diaries
September 12 to November 9, 2014

The Contemporary Art Gallery presents the first solo exhibition in Canada of work by acclaimed German artist Jürgen Partenheimer. Reflecting the diversity of the artist’s practice, the exhibition comprises works on paper, text, printmaking, ceramics and sculpture, produced in Vancouver in spring 2014 during his recent residency as the Audain Distinguished Artist-in-Residence, hosted by Emily Carr University of Art + Design .

Partenheimer’s work is essentially abstract; his drawings and paintings are remarkable for their fragile beauty, whilst sculpture and ceramic work, suggesting some usefulness, remain elusive with respect to any specific function. His visual language, the particular form of poetic abstraction, and his life-long interest in notions of representation with consideration of locality, space and place, suggest a key resonance with artistic practice in the city, asserting continuity between these forms and an experience of daily life.

The imaginary archive that gives the exhibition and associated book its title provides the framework for the exhibition based on the oeuvre of the artist. They are the visible expression of both intellect and emotion carrying traces of their process, temporality and correspondence with other objects. To this end, in Vancouver the exhibition has a subtitle, The Raven Diaries, referencing the symbol and characteristics of the Raven to west coast First Nations culture, while simultaneously drawing analogies to similar figures in cultural myths elsewhere in the world, and especially to the role of the artist as trickster, representative of a catalyst for change in life, for creativity and humour.

Additionally, a selection of Partenheimer’s ceramic works will be on view at the Museum of Anthropology, UBC, Vancouver in the Koerner European Ceramics Gallery. Reflecting Partenheimer’s interest in the interconnectivity of cultural disciplines, in October we will host performances of electro-acoustic music by Vancouver Electronic Ensemble as part of the Vancouver New Music Festival.

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Jürgen Partenheimer: The Archive – The Raven Diaries


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Current Events

Tickets are now on Sale!

To view the artworks for auction go to www.cagauction.com


26th Annual Gala & Art Auction
Saturday, November 8, 6.30pm
Dinner served at 7.30pm
Rosewood Hotel Georgia

Tickets on Sale: Friday August 15

Join us at this important benefit event for the Contemporary Art Gallery. Your support allows us to continue our crucial role as the only free independent public art gallery dedicated exclusively to engaging audiences with the very best in contemporary art from Vancouver, Canada and abroad.

This truly remarkable evening will feature our much anticipated Art Auction, featuring the work of over thirty ‘must know’ emerging and well known Canadian and international artists. New to this year’s event is the inaugural ‘Anonymous Polaroid Project’. A series of polaroid photographs taken by specially invited public figures who have taken images reflecting their daily lives will be up for auction. Only after bidding will the identities of the photographers be revealed.

 

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26th Annual Gala & Art Auction - tickets now on sale!


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Learning Resources

To read all the posts about the artists-in-residence and all events at the CAG Burrard Marina Field House blog follow this link: http://www.contemporaryartgallery.ca/blog-category/field-house-studio-blog/

The Field House Studio is an off-site artist residency space and community hub organized by the Contemporary Art Gallery.

This program moves beyond conventional exhibition making, echoing the founding origins of the gallery where artists were offered support toward the production of new work, while reaching out to communities and offering new ways for individuals to encounter and connect with art and artists.

Running parallel to the residency program are an ongoing series of public events for all ages.

The Field House Studio Residency Program is generously supported by the Vancouver Park Board and the City of Vancouver. We gratefully acknowledge the generosity of many private and individual donors toward this program. Please visit our website for a full list of supporters.

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The Burrard Marina Field House Blog


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Recent Posts

As mentioned previously, I hosted artist Sameer Farooq in Vancouver for research towards an upcoming residency and public project in 2015. Beyond making entrancing documentaries, Farooq also has a shared artistic practice with long time collaborator, Dutch artist Mirjam Linschooten. the CAG has invited the duo to develop a Vancouver-specific project. With Linschooten already in residence in Morocco for a project their working on thier, Sameer was the only one able to come out for this initial research visit.

Farooq and Linschooten began their artistic collaboration while studying at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. They consider their joint practice as an archeology of the present. The Museum of Found Objects, with iterations in Cairo, Johnston, Rhode Island, Toronto and Istanbul, used everyday objects to fuel alternative ways of engagement across a broad range of physical and cultural contexts. Something stolen, something new, something borrowed and something blue (2014) responded directly to the looting of the Egyptian Museum at Tahrir Square during the Arab Spring. They built a temporary photo studio in Cairo and worked with a local calligrapher to make announcement posters asking the simple question: ‘What objects from your home would you like to see displayed in the Egyptian Museum?’ For a month, they photographed and interviewed people with the objects that were brought in.

Farooq was very excited to explore all the Vancouver has to offer. With a special interest in ethnographic display and cultural histories in the city.  He visited the Museum of Anthropology and Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, taking guided visits offered by each institution.  We were also given a behind the scenes tour of the Museum of Vancouver by Kristin Lantz, Curator of Audience Engagement. The permanent collection is a hidden gem of Vancouver’s material culture. As a last stop before he left town, I took Sameer to the Richmond Night Market, an important stop in the exploration of Vancouver’s cultural fabric. Out of these visits Farooq and Linschooten will begin to build frameworks for a new project in 2015.

-Shaun Dacey

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Exploring Vancouver with Sameer Farooq


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