New Year, New Goals

It’s been quite a while since I wrote a blog post, so I thought I’d start the new year off with a list of goals for 2020. Some are attainable. Others, not so much.

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This year, I want to:

Write a blog post at least once a month

Write more short stories

See more art

Make more art

Promote my art

Sell my art

Win the lottery

 

 

Fall at the Art Gallery of Ontario

I recently visited the Art Gallery of Ontario to see its latest exhibition, Early Rubens. While there, I also took in Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room. Here are my thoughts.

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ABOVE: Peter Paul Rubens, Michielson Triptych, known as Christ on the Straw, 1618, oil on wood

BELOW: Yayoi Kusama, Infinity Mirrored Room – Let’s Survive Forever (deatail)

Currently, there are a few things to check out at the AGO:

Early Rubens – October 12, 2019 to January 5, 2020

When you get the chance to see the works of a master – in your home town no less – you should take advantage. Like most AGO shows, this one is well curated. There is a lot of dark content though.

Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room – permanent collection

The most over-hyped artist in the world, Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room is kinda neat. You have to book it in advance and line up to see it though.

Lisa Reihana: In Pursuit of Venus – September 21, 2019 to March 29, 2020

I’m very particular when it comes to video art, but I do like some of it. In Pursuit of Venus by Lisa Reihana is worth checking out if you’re planning a trip to the gallery.

The Art of Netflix

I recently watched an episode of Netflix’s Abstract: The Art of Design about Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson. The episode, and the series itself, are well worth seeing.

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ABOVE: Olafur Eliasson’s ‘The Weather Project’ in Tate Modern. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons (author: Michael Reeve)

Best known for his large scale installations, Olafur Eliasson often uses water, light and air to play with the viewers sense of perception. Here some of his most interesting quotes:

“I see the artist as a participant, a co-producer of reality. I do not see the artist as a person who sits at a distance and evaluates.”

“I want to expose and evaluate the fact that the seeing and sensing process is a system that should not be taken for granted as natural – it’s a cultivated means of reality production that, as a system, can be negotiated and changed.”

“Artists are valuable to public discussion: They show the correlation between doing and thinking.”

“For the sake of sanity, the brain and the eyes keep things simple. But take away the sense of sight and suddenly things are not so simple.”

“The viewer brings something individual to the experience of any artwork.”

 

Vancouver/Victoria Art Galleries

This summer I headed west, and as always, I visited as many art galleries as possible. Here then, is a list of spots visited, along with a link and brief description.

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ABOVE: Bill Reid, The Raven and the First Men, 1980, wood sculpture. As seen at the Museum of Anthropology UBC.

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

Housed in a beautiful old mansion, and a quick drive from downtown Victoria, this gallery houses some big names in Canadian art.

Bateman Foundation Gallery of Nature

Located by the harbor in Victoria, this small gallery showcases the work of Robert Bateman as well as his contemporaries. It’s a must see, especially if you’re a fan of his work.

Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art

Bill Reid is a huge presence in Vancouver with marquee pieces in the airport and the Museum of Anthropology at UBC. Unsurprisingly, he has his very own gallery. Unsurprisingly, it’s a must see.

Contemporary Art Gallery

A small downtown space with just enough room for a few pieces. I especially liked a video by Maryam Jafri. It’s no longer on display though.

Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery

Another small space, this time located at the University of British Columbia (a 20 minute bus ride from Vancouver), the work on display is very contemporary and non-traditional – at least it was when I was there.

Museum of Anthropology at UBC

Although technically not an art gallery, this made the list as it was by far, the most spectacular museum/gallery in the Vancouver/Victoria area. It’s holdings of First Nations art, and the way it’s displayed is incredible. It doesn’t matter where in the world you’re coming from, this is a bucket list museum.

Vancouver Art Gallery

The top public gallery in Vancouver, the Giacometti exhibition (which ended 9/22) was a well-curated look at the artists work. Although it’s over, it gives you an idea of the type of show this gallery is capable of.