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Historical

The CAG presented the first exhibition in North America devoted entirely to the vignettes of British wood engraver, artist and naturalist Thomas Bewick. Born in Cherryburn, near Mickley, Northumberland in 1753, Bewick worked in Newcastle until his death in 1828. Clearly influenced by his childhood on a small farm on the banks of the river Tyne, Bewick’s love of the countryside is reflected in his detailed woodcuts of animals, birds and rural scenes. Amongst his most ambitious projects were illustrations for General History of Quadrupeds (1790) and History of British Birds (two volumes, 1797 and 1804), both of which also included a great number of vignettes. Bewick referred to these as ‘tale-pieces’. Intended as illustrations of “some truth or point of some moral” they provide an invaluable insight into social history while also demonstrating the artist’s imagination and wit. As such these narrative works provided an interesting counterpoint to the work of many internationally established artists in Vancouver, engaging in image making which critically examines and reflects on the city and conditions which surround them. The presentation of historical work is intended to challenge our understanding of what a contemporary art space should show and as such reinforces the notion that everything was once contemporary, retaining meaning for future generations, just as much as what is contemporary now will inevitably become historical.

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Thomas Bewick - Tale-pieces


Clip/Stamp/Fold was the first exhibition of independent architectural magazines produced in the 1960s and 1970s. It was curated by renowned architectural theorist Beatriz Colomina and a group of PhD students at the Princeton University, School of Architecture. The exhibition was first presented in New York at the Storefront for Art and Architecture in 2006. It has since met great critical acclaim especially for remaining geographically specific to each city where it is presented. While the concept and presentation elements are portable, the archival magazines vary, being sourced from local collections. Since its debut in New York, it has traveled to the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal; Documenta 12, Kassel; AA, London; and Norsk Form, Oslo with plans to go to Madrid and Barcelona.

With the help of architectural critic and curator Adele Weder, the CAG researched and assembled from local collections architectural magazines for exhibition. Clip/Stamp/Fold also included custom wallpaper featuring images of the magazines, facsimiles of historical magazines for viewers to peruse, and a historical timeline examining the social and political contexts behind many of the collected magazines.

For Clip/Stamp/Fold 6, the CAG organized a comprehensive program of talks, inviting architects, writers and publishers from the region to respond to the exhibition. Beatriz Colomina gave public a lecture on the exhibition on October 14.

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Clip/Stamp/Fold 6: THE RADICAL ARCHITECTURE OF LITTLE MAGAZINES 196X-197X


In celebration of its 30th Anniversary, the Contemporary Art Gallery presented an exhibition and project honoring its early years. On February 23, 1973, the Artists’ Gallery opened its doors at 555 Hamilton Street. Later to be renamed the Contemporary Art Gallery, the Artists’ Gallery was initiated by an arts advisory committee under the umbrella of the City of Vancouver. Central to its early mandate and philosophy was the promotion and creation of local visual arts.

During this time the City of Vancouver began a program, with assistance from the Federal Local Initiatives Program (LIP) to purchase works by local artists. In support of this ambitious project, the Artists’ Gallery was conceived as both a depository and exhibition space. The Contemporary Art Gallery continues to act as custodian for over 3000 collected works, many dating from the early to mid 1970s when the bulk of the collection was assembled.

The history of this important collection of art, of the Artists’ Gallery, and of the early years of the community that shaped what would become the Contemporary Art Gallery will be showcased this summer in an exhibition featuring works from the collection.

Project Organizers: Reid Shier and Shawn Preuss

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L.I.P. Service, CAG 30th Aniversary: The Collection 1973-1983


Burrard Marina Field House artist-in-residence Raymond Boisjoly hosts a talk and discussion with Nathan Crompton.

Nathan Crompton co-editor of The Mainlander, will speak about the history of the land where Vanier Park and the Burrard Marina Field House are located, previously the Kitsilano Reserve. 2013 marks the 100 year anniversary of the dispossession and displacement of the reserve.

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Field House Talk | Nathan Crompton hosted by Raymond Boisjoly


Broken City Lab (BCL) are currently artists-in-residence at the Burrard Marina Field House. Their four month project, Flagged for Review examines the surrounding site and its relation to current perceptions of the city through a series of initiated conversations. Every Tuesday until the end of April, the collective will host public games, temporary installations and conversations concerning social and political issues present in Vancouver. These will culminate in the production of a series of flags to be installed at the Field House and throughout the city during the last two months of their residency.

For the first two Tuesday night events, BCL are inviting participants to contemplate and define the use of flags in the urban setting, with the  aim of highlighting a range of curious and challenging ideas that inform the ways we experience, imagine and historicize the city of Vancouver.

During the evening on Tuesday March 18, a series of 12 questions were asked  to the attendees. Questions included conceptions of Vancouver as a place and an how individuals engage with politics. It was very interesting to talk about how we perceive the city in positives or negatives and to share with strangers our political thoughts. The evening finished with a game of ‘spin the bottle’ with participants answering the questions one on one with each other and with Broken City Lab members, Hiba and Justin. Above are a selection of images taken by Caitlin Carr from the evening.

UP NEXT:  

Tuesday April 1, 7-8.30pm
Projecting Forward

This Tuesday’s, Flagged For Review gathering with Broken City Lab will imagine what the future holds for the city of Vancouver, with a series of short declarations created and projected onto the Burrard Bridge. These declarations will be our hopes, doubts and dreams for the future of Vancouver.

Broken City Lab (BCL) are currently artists-in-residence at the Burrard Marina Field House. Their four month project, Flagged for Review examines the surrounding site and its relation to current perceptions of the city through a series of initiated conversations. Every Tuesday until the end of April, the collective will host public games, temporary installations and conversations concerning social and political issues present in Vancouver. These will culminate in the production of a series of flags to be installed at the Field House and throughout the city during the last two months of their residency.

The Field House Studio Residency Program is generously supported by the Vancouver Park Board and the City of Vancouver.

For this residency we gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the BC Creative Communities Award.

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Flagged For Review with Broken City Lab – Tue April 1


Today at the Burrard Marina Field House! (Saturday September 28th at 4 pm)

Nathan Crompton co-editor of The Mainlander will be speaking  about the history of the land where Vanier Park and Burrard Marina Field House are located, previously the Kitsilano Reserve (Crompton co-wrote an article about the reserve here).   This year marks 100 years since the dispossession of the Kitsilano Reserve, a year the city of Vancouver has also declared  the Year of Reconciliation .

Our Field House Intern (Jaclyn Bruneau) interviewed Crompton about the article and his upcoming talk this past week. Here is an excerpt where Crompton draws out the analogus connection between the history of the dispossessed land and current situations in the city. We will be posting the rest of the interview in the coming days.

Jaclyn Bruneau: Your article in The Mainlander draws attention to the linkage between the kinds of aggressive colonialist displacement and dispossession that took place 100 years ago in 1913, and the accelerating gentrification happening in Gastown, the DTES, and extending as far as Grandview-Woodlands. What kinds of excuses or justifications are people making for these new developments that render such a seemingly obvious linkage invisible? You cite a The Province editorial is titled, “The sooner the Downtown Eastside is cleaned up the better” which touches on this.

Nathan Crompton: I think that “cleaned up” is a telling choice of words in this case. What the editors of the Province want today is what they have always wanted as they lean in on the benefits of a capitalist, colonial society while disavowing the consequences of displacement, exclusion, endemic unemployment in the cities, etc. Our article tries to draw on old Province editorials. There is a 1903 editorial calling for the displacement of the Kits reserve, which describes the First Nations settlement in familiar terms, as an “eyesore” that should be removed because it does not maximize the financial value of the land.

It is important to read those old articles, because despite the passage of time they resonate with our troubled present. What the Province wants to “clean up” is of course the same communities that have been resisting and surviving since the beginning of colonial settlement. This is why the proposed cleaning is so deeply political and social. The cleansing of Vancouver’s low-income neighborhoods is a social cleansing, and we need to look beyond the realm of ideology and discourse to identify the process. The “proposals” being put forward by the Province already being acted upon by the real-estate developers and the police, so we have the white press, the State and capital, each forming their own part of the eternal recurrence of colonialism.

Be sure not to miss Nathan’s talk today at 4pm at the Burrard Marina Field House.

Nathan was invited to speak by our current CAG Field House at Burrard Marina artist-in-residence Raymond Boisjoly. The Field House Studio Residency Program is generously supported by the Vancouver Park Board and the City of Vancouver. The inaugural residency with Raymond Boisjoly is supported by the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology.

More of Jaclyn’s writing can be found here, and her tweets over here.

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Interview with Nathan Crompton (Part 1)


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