The first time I saw Gordon Smith, he was delivering a talk to a group of students at what was then the Banff School of Fine Arts. I was 19, enrolled as an undergraduate at the University of Calgary and, in an attempt to catch up on credits after switching my major from English to fine arts, was taking a summer painting course in Banff.
The Intimate Delight of Janet Nungnik’s Textile Art
At school, she was eventually consoled by the peaceful attitude of a teacher. “His name was Mr. Webster and he was always so calm. After I saw him, I was interested in learning English.” Then she adds, “My classmates were like me, abducted from their homeland. But we connected really well and we had an opportunity to have fun each day.” Later on, while she was home on breaks from middle school in Churchill and high school in Yellowknife, her father insisted that she and her sister and brother maintain their first language—written and spoken. Not incidentally, she signs all her work in Inuktitut syllabics. Keep Reading
Joseph Tisiga’s multidisciplinary practice is at once enigmatic and forthright, fantastical and banal. In interviews, he has spoken of giving mythic shape to what might otherwise be too concretely described as the legacy of colonialism—the complex of psychological, social, economic and cultural challenges facing Indigenous people today. He has also said that his work is underlain by a kind of “sublime nothingness” that stems from his experience of Whitehorse, the place he moved to in his youth and where he is still based. “It’s the core of banality, for me,” he told Momus in 2016, “the way it’s been represented by, say, Samuel Beckett.” Keep Reading
The Vancouver Art Gallery (VAG)’s stellar Dana Claxton exhibition was, in many ways, a first. It was the first major survey in the acclaimed multimedia artist’s 30-year career and the first time many of her significant works have been exhibited in Vancouver, the city in which Claxton has been based since the mid-1980s. Keep Reading
Presentation House Gallery (PHG) in North Vancouver is a physically unprepossessing space: three modestly made over rooms on the third floor of what was once somebody’s home. Still, those old rooms have hosted an astonishing array of historical and contemporary exhibitions of photo-based art. Recently, PHG undertook the brilliant pairing of shows by pioneering performance and multi-media artist Carolee Schneemann, who divides her time between Montreal and the New York countryside, and experimental filmmaker Stan Brakhage, who died in Victoria in 2003. Keep Reading
Gordon Smith and the Tradition of Painting
Bordered by tangled vegetation, the scene is full of the natural energy and cultural incident that compel Smith’s eye, although he insists that he is giving up representational painting. He repeats that intention three times, like a mantra, and then indicates a crowd of recently completed canvasses, leaning against the far wall. Keep Reading
Oviloo Tunnillie and the Tradition of the New
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