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Hot Art

Hot Art: Editor’s Pick: Bird Lady’s Swan Song


In January the world lost a powerful creative force when influential and prolific pioneer of modern Inuit art Kenojuak Ashevak died at age 85. Ashevak’s distinctive, enchanting imagery has graced Canadian stamps and coins, earned honourary doctorates, a Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts, and the distinction of highest auction sale price of any Canadian print at $52,000 USD. Her final masterpiece,Tall Tundra Bird (pictured), is a stunning stonecut and stencil that fittingly features Ashevak’s favoured subject: a mythical and nearly supernatural bird. Nunavut Gallery is the place to see this very special artwork and many other resplendent Ashevak prints. 603 Corydon Ave, 204-478‑7233.

Hot Art: Haisla Artist Lyle Wilson at Bill Reid Gallery

"Octopus" by Lyle Wilson. Photos by Jenn Walton courtesy collection of the artist

“Octopus” by Lyle Wilson. Photos by Jenn Walton courtesy collection of the artist

Haisla artist Lyle Wilson is painting outside the lines—of traditional Northwest Coast art, that is. In Paint: The Painted Works of Lyle Wilson, his artwork finds form in traditionally stylized, yet playfully experimental, pieces. Find captivating works by the artist, such as “Octopus” (pictured), until Sep. 15 at Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art.—Jill Von Sprecken

National Aboriginal Day is June 21. Find out more information on celebrations in Vancouver.

Hot Art: Dutch Masterworks at the Vancouver Art Gallery

Balthasar van der Ast's "Untitled (Still Life with Peaches and Shells)." Photo by Jim Gorman courtesy Vancouver Art Gallery

“Untitled (Still Life with Peaches and Shells)” by Balthasar van der Ast. Photo by Jim Gorman courtesy Vancouver Art Gallery

If the Netherlands isn’t in your itinerary—and even if it is—take a trip to the Vancouver Art Gallery for Persuasive Visions: 17th Century Dutch and Flemish Masterworks and Contemporary Reflections (Jun. 15 to Sep. 15) to see works from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Find pieces from the Dutch Golden Age, including artist Balthasar van der Ast’s “Untitled (Still Life with Peaches and Shells)” (pictured), alongside contemporary art, for an exhibition that’s well worth the journey.—Jill Von Sprecken

Hot Art: Watery Landscapes at Art Beatus

"Shoal" by June Yun

“Shoal” by June Yun

For a dose of springtime serenity, visit Art Beatus to see cool, watery landscapes by Chinese-Canadian artist June Yun (to May 31). In Spring • Water, the Vancouver-based artist uses oils on canvas to explore water in its various forms and colours (“Shoal,” pictured). Look closely: continuing from her Lemon Traveling series, Yun’s paintings are sometimes accompanied by a tiny lemon. We love the playful pop of unexpected colour.—Jill Von Sprecken

Hot Art: Haute Hotels at the Vancouver Art Gallery

Portland's Ace Hotel. Photo by Jeremy Pelley © Ace Hotel Group

Portland’s Ace Hotel. Photo by Jeremy Pelley © Ace Hotel Group

Whether a backpacker or a five-star fan, every world traveller needs a place to rest and recharge. Explore the evolution of hotels, hostels and inns as social spaces during the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Grand Hotel (Apr. 13 to Sep. 15). The exhibition, which shares its name with the iconic 1932 Hollywood film, highlights the architecture, design and culture of travel lodgings from Portland to Berlin.—Kristina Urquhart

Hot Art: Dreamy Watercolours by Charles John Collings in Vancouver

Charles John Collings’ “Niagara, Above the Falls.” Exhibition at Uno Langmann Limited

If Hope at Dawn: Watercolours by Emily Carr and Charles John Collings at the Vancouver Art Gallery (to May 26) leaves you yearning for more, stop by Uno Langmann Limited to view additional pieces by the British-born Charles John Collings in a complementary self-titled exhibition (to Mar 31). The Canadian artist lent an ethereal quality to his landscapes by mixing the paint directly onto water-soaked paper (“Niagara, Above the Falls,” pictured). Dreamy, indeed.—Kristina Urquhart

Hot Art: Haida Art in Vancouver

Haida Art. Photo Courtesy Coastal Peoples Fine Arts Gallery

Talk about talent running in families: Haida Masterworks II highlights emerging contemporary artists who are following in their parents’ footsteps. See works of Haida art in cedar, silver and argillite by carvers such as Ben Davidson and Kyran Yeomans, sons of famous Haida artists Robert Davidson and Don Yeomans. There are other family ties, too, including pieces by Christian White (“Raven Transformation,” pictured) and his cousin Darrell White—both descendants of the late, great Charles Edenshaw. At Coastal Peoples Fine Arts Gallery (to Apr. 30).—Kristina Urquhart

Hot Art: True Blu Art in Vancouver

“Illusion of Substance” by Blu Smith at Kurbatoff Gallery

Style meets substance at Kurbatoff Gallery (to Mar. 31), where feature artists include BC native Blu Smith. His work delves into abstraction with pieces such as “Illusion of Substance” (pictured) that find their beginnings in charcoal on paper and end with confident strokes of acrylic on canvas. Smith is known for bold colour and subtle texture that convey depth and invite interpretation.—Jill Von Sprecken

Hot Art: First Nations Finds at Bill Reid Gallery

“Too Haida” by Lisa Telford. Photo by Kenji Nagai

It’s a laughing matter at Bill Reid Gallery until Mar. 17. In Carrying On “Irregardless”: Humour in Contemporary Northwest Coast Art, 25 Aboriginal artists turn the conventional notions of Northwest Coast art upside down, despite an often grim history. We love the cedar-bark high heels by Lisa Telford (“Too Haida,” pictured), a cool combination of the trendy and the traditional.—Kristina Urquhart

Hot Art: Artist Esther Shalev-Gerz Explores Identity at Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery

“Still/Film” by Esther Shalev-Gerz. Photo courtesy Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery

Esther Shalev-Gerz presents multimedia installations and photos in her self-titled exhibition at Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery (Jan. 11 to Apr. 14). The Lithuanian-born, Israeli-raised artist, who now lives in Paris, explores themes of place, history and citizenship in her haunting works (“Still/Film,” pictured).—Kristina Urquhart

Hot Art: First Nations Art at South Granville’s Douglas Reynolds Gallery

South Granville’s Douglas Reynolds Gallery boasts an extensive collection of Northwest Coast art and jewellery. Photo by KK Law

Art aficionados seeking collector-worthy works should not miss South Granville stalwart Douglas Reynolds Gallery. The two-level establishment, in the middle of the city’s tony Gallery Row, carries both historical and contemporary Northwest Coast fine art, as well as handcrafted gold and silver jewellery. Gracing the gallery walls are vibrant prints, ceremonial masks and cool carvings by the likes of Bill Reid, Don Yeomans and Robert Davidson. It’s a collector’s dream.—Kristina Urquhart

Hot Art: Watery Portraits by Local Artist Melissa Mercier

Irrational Fear of Confined Spaces 5, by Melissa Mercier

In fear lies beauty for Vancouver artist Melissa Mercier. The self-labelled claustrophobe decided to combat her anxiety with the soothing monochromatic pigment prints in her Irrational Fear of Confined Spaces series at Firehall Arts Centre Gallery (Dec. 5 to Jan. 13). Mercier took her camera to an overcrowded beach and pointed the lens to the water’s tranquil surface to help calm her nerves, providing a stark contrast to the busy and stressful scene nearby—Kristina Urquhart