Gallery Hours
Tuesday to Sunday 12 - 6pm
Free Admission


Artist talk: John Wood and Paul Harrison
Monday, February 15, 6pm
Emily Carr University of Art + Design, MoCap Studio
North Building, 1399 Johnston Street, Vancouver
Hosted by Visual Art Forums

The Contemporary Art Gallery presents the first solo exhibition in Canada by British duo John Wood and Paul Harrison. For over twenty years, their practice has revolved around an observation of the human condition, an ongoing investigation into the world that surrounds us, the objects we encounter and use daily, and our fundamental engagement with the physical universe in all its sometime or seemingly futile existence. As viewers we become implicated in their tragicomic world of absurdist humour leading to both simultaneous delight and sombre reflection on the failures and joys of human endeavour.

Comprising various everyday objects, drawings, photographs and videos, the exhibition provides a survey detailing recent propositions for the artists where narrative, taste, politics, aspiration, individual and collective dreaming and ambition appear, literally and metaphorically. The installation also contains a selection of new sculptures using tools, drawing equipment and other useful items in various media. For example, two propelling pencils share a single lead; another pencil has been sharpened right down to the rubber end and remains housed in its sharpener; a length of string is measured against a ruler; two balls of string, one un-wound then rewound the other original, and a single glue stick, stuck head first onto a wall. The humour is dry and the jokes visual; the familiar made strange by altering perceptions.

Connecting these sculptural works is a selection of videos, typical of their practice while sharing a pared-down set of qualities. 10×10 (2011) and Semi Automatic Painting Machine (2014) deconstruct the very nature of the moving image and its means of presentation, investigating narrative structure, representation and transformation.

Wood and Harrison’s work has frequently been concerned with the body, connecting with the spatial concerns and the material world of choreography and contemporary dance. Engaging with attributes such as trust, cause and effect, action and reaction, and the physical arena and dimensions in which movement and gesture occur.

Building on these concerns and extending our work with the artists we are pleased to announce the world premiere of a major new live performance later this year. A first for the artists, CAG and Ballet BC; we have developed an ambitious joint commission, a new dance work, complete with movement, direction, costumes and staging.

The art-dance commission is produced in collaboration with Ballet BC with support in part from the Kickstarter community in partnership with Art Basel Crowdfunding Initiative.

John Wood and Paul Harrison live and work in Bristol, UK. They have many notable solo exhibitions including Von Bartha, Basel; NTT InterCommunication Center, Tokyo; Carroll/Fletcher, London (2015); Museo de Antioquia, Medellin, Columbia (2014); Frist Centre, Nashville, H&R Block Artspace, Kansas and the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston (2011-12); Kunstmuseum Thun, Switzerland; University of California, Santa Barbara (2010); Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (2009); PICA, Perth (2008); Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2007); Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, UK (2005); Tate Britain, London; MoMA, New York; MIT, Boston (2004) and Chisenhale Gallery, London (2002). They have also participated in group exhibitions worldwide: Kunstmuseum Luzern, Switzerland (2015); OK Centre for Contemporary Art, Linz, Austria; Tokyo Station Gallery; Itami City Museum of Art; Kochi Museum of Art; Okayama Museum of Art (2014); Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil (2013); MOBY, Israel; Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw (2011); Centre d’Art Santa Mònica, Barcelona (2010); Ludwig Museum, Budapest (2008); Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva (2007); Hayward Gallery, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris (2006); Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh (2005); Gwangju Biennale, Korea (2002); Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2003); Philadelphia Museum of Art (1998) among others. Work is held in various public collections including Centre Pompidou, Paris; MoMA, New York; Ludwig Collection, Aachen; Tel Aviv Museum; Kadist Foundation, Paris and Tate, London. John Wood and Paul Harrison are represented by Carroll/Fletcher, London; Von Bartha, Basel; Martine Aboucaya, Paris and Vera Cortes, Lisbon.


Artist talk - John Wood and Paul Harrison

Screening event presented by Patrick Staff and Robin Simpson
Presented by CAG in partnership with Cineworks.

Friday, February 12, 7pm
Cineworks Annex, 235 Alexander Street, Vancouver

Works screened include: Mirha Soleil-Ross’ Gender Troublemakers (1993), Xanthra Mackay’s Rupert Remembers (2000), James Diamond’s The Man from Venus (1999), Mike Hoolboom’s Frank’s Cock (1993) and Gwendolyn and Co.’s Prowling by Night (1990).

‘Missives’, is a new free broadsheet publication and an associated film screening event co-programmed by Staff with Canadian curator and writer Robin Simpson. Continuing the format of Staff’s recent screening-performances Dreams of Travel (2014) and Uniform Smoke (2015), this expanded public programming brings together a number of voices that generate resonances with the politics and interpersonal relationships that constitute the project, rather than describing or fixing the meaning of the work. Grounded within a Canadian context, it seeks to forge a connection among Trans/Queer contexts, production, dialogues and communities.

The broadsheet contains specially commissioned texts by Juliet Jacques, Staff and Simpson and will be distributed city wide as well as in Toronto via defunct Xtra newspaper boxes.

Alongside this, the screening event at Cineworks Annex (February 12 from 7pm), invokes a provisional social space, cinema and theatrical set where a temporary community may gather, through which a selection of film and video works explore first person narratives, interview, account and witness in queer Canadian moving image production, and reflect upon our viewing of it in a contemporary context. Presenting older works framed through their practice the evening engages an intergenerational conversation and includes: Mirha Soleil-Ross’ Gender Troublemakers (1993), Xanthra Mackay’s Rupert Remembers (2000), James Diamond’s The Man from Venus (1999), Mike Hoolboom’s Frank’s Cock (1993) and Gwendolyn and Co.’s Prowling by Night (1990).

The MISSIVES broadsheet and screening event are generously supported by the British Council.


Screening | Missives

Saturday, February 27 and March 26, 12–3pm
On the last Saturday of each month, the CAG invites all ages to drop-in for short exhibition tours and free art making activities that respond to our current exhibitions.

Saturday, February 27, 12-3pm: Drawing Machines

In response to the John Wood and Paul Harrison exhibition, participants will use pencils, tape, string and sticks to create unusual tools for drawing pictures, big and small.

Saturday, March 26, 12-3pm: Silhouettes: Shadows Thrown in the Light and the Imprint of Other Spectres

Join our Field House Artist in Residence Fabiola Carranza making fantastical shadow puppets. Create paper props and costumes then play with them in front of light whilst you draw and trace their movement. You can also have your silhouette portrait drawn using Carranza’s take on a silhouette drawing machine!

Presented in collaboration with ArtStarts on Saturdays. For more details visit:

We acknowledge the generous support of the Hamber Foundation for our Family Day program.


Family Art Day | Drawing Machines

Artist talk: Walter K. Scott
Monday, March 7, 6pm
Emily Carr University of Art + Design, MoCap Studio
North Building, 1399 Johnston Street, Vancouver
Hosted by Visual Art Forums

Scott’s two panel installation at Yaletown-Roundhouse Station evolves from a new volume of his comic book series, Wendy: A Home Underground (2015). Evoking the malaise of urban Vancouver life the window installation depicts the newly arrived Wendy moving around the city, a foil or reflection of the daily commuter passing through the station. Considering the two viewing positions of the work, inside the station descending the stairs or outside walking by, Scott develops a recto-verso installation referencing the alter-ego/duality Wendy embodies. In Scott’s latest offering Wendy explores the antagonism between mind and body: Wendy navigating Yaletown on her smart phone juxtaposed with her inner self drilling head first into Vancouver’s inner depths becomes a representation of existential frustration.

Presented in partnership with the Canada Line Public Art Program — Intransit BC and Capture Photography Festival.



Artist talk - Walter K. Scott

Tommy Ting
Sunday, February 28, 3pm

A guided visit of the exhibitions on display in Mandarin led by artist Tommy Ting.

Guided visits are open to the public, providing free opportunities to engage with exhibitions and develop new skills for interpreting contemporary art. We also encourage visits from primary and secondary schools, ESL groups, university and college students and community groups. For more information or to book a guided visit for your group, contact or telephone 604 681 2700.


Tommy Ting | Tour in Mandarin

Where Poetry and Women’s Work INTERWEAVE
Hosted by Marguerite Pigeon
invited by Fabiola Carranza
Burrard Civic Marina Field House, 1655 Whyte Ave, Vancouver.

Wednesday January 27, 7:00pm

Please e-mail Fabiola Carranza at to receive a pdf of texts compiled by Marguerite in preparation for this event.

EPIC DRESSES is a seminar-like discussion hosted by Marguerite Pigeon. Marguerite is a writer and poet from Northern Ontario who lives and works out of Strathcona. She is currently working on a book-length poem about dress and fashion written in epic form.

For this seminar, Marguerite will share some images and text examples from her research findings on the history of epic poetry and intersect these with her research on textiles/clothes and women’s history.

Marguerite would like for anyone attending the seminar discussion to bring in and discuss a poem you are connected to OR that you consider epic; alternatively, bring in an image of a piece of visual art that you consider ‘epic’ and be prepared to discuss why.

Marguerite will also read briefly from her upcoming book.
You’re invited to bring snacks and drinks to share.

Fabiola Carranza is currently artist-in-residence at the Burrard Marina Field House. Considering the intertwining of her own art practice, her interest for community organization and public programs, Carranza is using the Burrard Marina Field House as a studio space from where to conduct her own research and art making along with collaborating with CAG on a series of public events.

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.
The Field House Studio Residency Program is generously supported by the Vancouver Park Board and the City of Vancouver, along with many private and individual donors. Please visit our website for a full list of supporters.

For further details about the Field House Studio Program, all forthcoming residencies and associated events visit our website at and follow the Field House blog at


EPIC DRESSES: Where Poetry and Women's Work INTERWEAVE


Visit CAG

555 Nelson Street
Vancouver, British Columbia
Canada V6B 6R5

T 00 1 604 681 2700
F 00 1 604 683 2710

Gallery Hours
Tues – Sun 12 – 6 pm

  • Closed on British Columbia statutory holidays
  • The galleries are wheelchair accessible
  • The Gallery is free of charge
  • Suggested donation of $5

Reference Library


CAG Shop



Become a Member

The CAG is a not-for-profit reliant on member support. As a Member of the CAG, you are supporting contemporary art now and playing a role in its future.

Make a Donation

Help support the only free public art gallery in Vancouver.
Donate Now