Results 1-6of 6 Reviews
Riverview, New Brunswick
May 31, 2007
The first floor housed "The Photograph as Theatre". It could as easily have been called the photograph as art, for the photographs were literally moments in dramatic time…some macabre, some vaguely erotic and others disturbing or thought provoking, but rarely mundane. They ranged in age from Henry Peach Robinson’s famous "Little Red Riding Hood" photos (1858), William Notman’s moose hunting series (1866) and the 1902 stereograph, "Mr. and Mrs. Turtledove’s New French Cook" to pieces done in the last few years.
The second floor was devoted to "House of Oracles, a Huang Yong Ping Retrospective." The collection featured many large works, so large that you have to wonder how they were brought to the floor. His "Python" is 131 feet long, and although it had been shortened for this space, it must have been assembled on site. One has to question the longevity of art as you see his sandcastle which will slowly crumble until it’s just a pile of sand.
Ping’s controversial "Theatre of the World", which featured a cast of reptiles and insects had been shut down three weeks before our visit. Unfortunately, the reptiles had insisted on eating the insects as well as the crickets that were being used to feed them and the SPCA thought that it was all too cruel. The cage which had held them was still on site, however, along with newspaper clippings that illustrated the struggle between artist and institution.
The third floor housed a retrospective of the work of Fred Herzog, a Vancouver photographer whose work provides a record of the city’s life over 50 years. While many photographs underline the change in the city, others record the banal details of city life.
As a whole, we found the visit enjoyable and would really have liked to have seen the Emily Carr and Group of Seven exhibit that was being prepared on the third floor. The galleries are well lit and well organized. Admission (2007) was $15. For information: Vancouver Art Gallery.
From journal Adventures in Lotusland: Vancouver
October 12, 2004
"You’ll recognize the art gallery - it’s an old courthouse used a lot as a set for X-files," my friend said while giving me directions. Indeed, the building looked vaguely familiar, but what caught my attention was vast Robson Square just across from the gallery. Almost deserted on a Sunday afternoon, this public green-space with cascading waterfalls is surrounded by glass buildings reflecting some of the older buildings nearby.
I blanched at the gallery’s admission price, C$15, but I’d say it’s worth it if patrons take full advantage of what the museum offers. There are dance and music performances, public lectures, and other arts-related events, as well as a reference library open to the public and an art-for-rent program. The gallery takes an active role in encouraging visitors to get involved with the artistic process. It truly is a public-spirited gallery.
I had the good fortune to visit on one of the gallery’s monthly SuperSundays, held on the third Sunday of each month. Geared especially towards families with children, a SuperSunday will appeal to adults as well. All throughout the gallery, baskets of drawing, painting, and collage materials were set near benches and tables so that visitors could create their own art. A number of people were sitting throughout the museum, quietly sketching or painting. Several groups of children were completely absorbed in projects in the rotunda area, weaving bright strips of paper and cutting fanciful shapes for collages.
I was tempted to join in when I saw materials set out near a forest painting by Emily Carr, one of B.C.’s best-known artists. The dark, brooding quality of the painting stirred something in me, but a sudden fear of exposing my inadequacies overcame me, squashing my desire to sketch swirling shapes in response to the painting. I also had my little list of things I wanted to do that afternoon and drawing wasn’t on it.
Now, looking back, I’m ashamed of having given in to such a silly qualm and regret that I didn’t spend an hour or so doing something more meaningful than dashing through the museum in search of art to enjoy. In the words of Taras Grescoe, "To stop being a tourist, sometimes all you have to do is start standing still."
Indeed, as I leave the gallery, I take the following words stenciled on the ceiling above the escalator as a personal admonishment:
From journal Vancouver Reflections
July 16, 2008
From journal Visiting Vancouver
Auckland, United Kingdom
December 21, 2002
Check out Gillian Wearing’s multimedia study of alcoholism, it includes several videos which are both painful and fascinating to watch. I also reccommend Paul Wong’s displays. Gender Studies explores contemporary sexuality via a number of video testimonies of people's own sexual experiences. More hard hitting were the series of photographs of Wong’s lover in the months before his suicide. Wong’s other exhibit Murder Reasearch documents the discovery of a body and the consequent investigation.
These exhibits weren’t exactly cheery viewing. Some of the images were painful, fascinating and stayed in my head. I really recommend visiting this gallery. And as an added (and cheerier) bonus, the cafe does good food, fairly reasonably priced with a little terrace for a sunny day.
From journal Two weeks in Vancouver
January 30, 2002
There is a permanent collection of Emily Carr's work on the upper floor, which is worth a visit in itself! Her paintings really capture that pacific northwestern flair complete with haida motifs, rich green forests and killer whales.
The gallery also has a very well stocked souvenir/art store that has a wealth of books about contemporary and canadian art as well as artwork, reproductions and the usual museum shop souvernirs.
Highly recommended! Their official site lists the current exhibitions as well as opening hours: www.vanartgallery.bc.ca
From journal Vancouver with Hungarian eyes
January 29, 2006
Vancouver Art Gallery, founded in 1931, is the largest gallery in western Canada, with more than 7,900 works worth over $100 million, with featured artist Emily Carr. Enter from Hornby Street or Robson Street Plaza (adjacent to Howe Street). We saw works of artists Takao Tanabe and Emily Carr.
Monday, Wednesday, Friday-Sunday/Holidays 10am-5:30pm, Tuesday 10am-9pm, Thursday 10am-9pm, fourth Friday of each month 10am-11pm, FUSE 6pm-11pm
Adult $15, Senior (65+) $11, Student (with valid ID) $10, Children (5 - 12) $6, Children (4 and under) Free, Family (maximum 2 parents and 2 children) $40
Admission is by donation on Tuesday evenings, 5 to 9pm.
From journal YVR