October 2011

Northern Exposure Art + Architecture



Contemporary Art Gallery
604-681-2700 / contemporaryartgallery.ca

A show of 1960s work by L.A.’s own Sister Corita Kent runs through October, and a concurrent exhibition of late-18th- and early-19th-century wood engravings by Thomas Bewick demonstrates the gallery’s elastic definition of “contemporary.”

Olympic and Paralympic Public Art
604-871-6434 / vancouver.ca

While you’re checking out the new convention center, be sure to see Douglas Coupland’s trippy pixilated whale sculpture (Digital Orca), located next to the crystalline Olympic Cauldron. For added surrealism, get up close and personal with The Birds, Myfanwy MacLeod’s gigantic avian sculptures.

Jameson House
866-785-8232 / jamesonfoster.com

British architect Norman Foster makes his contribution to the Vancouver skyline with his first residential tower in North America. The glass-and-steel monolith has a decidedly Jetsons vibe. Absolutely worth a peek for architecture buffs.

Or Gallery
604-683-7395 / orgallery.org

This adventurous artist-run nonprofit center is dedicated to promoting experimental and conceptual work. The gallery is currently presenting Creative Destruction, a show of work in various media (sculpture, video, et al.) by New York–based artist Matthew Buckingham. Through October 22.

Presentation House Gallery
604-986-1351 / presentationhousegallery.org

A worthwhile stop for aficionados of contemporary film, video and photography. An exhibition of lensman Larry Clark’s provocative vintage gelatin silver prints depicting the underbelly of his Tulsa hometown runs through October 30.

Rennie Collection
604-682-2088 / renniecollection.org

Do not miss this internationally acclaimed collection of contemporary art in the Wing Sang building, a landmark 1889 Victorian Italianate structure and the oldest edifice in Chinatown. The dazzling collected works of British artist Martin Creed—open by appointment—are on site until October 8.

Semiahmoo Library
604-592-6900 / surreylibraries.ca

The main attraction at this library in the city of Surrey (a member municipality of Metro Vancouver) is the massive green wall that covers the facade. Designed by the firm Green over Grey, it is one of the largest vertical gardens in North America.

Vancouver Art Gallery
604-662-4719 / vanartgallery.bc.ca

This is the big daddy of Vancouver museums, set in a neoclassical courthouse renovated by Canadian architect Arthur Erickson in the 1980s. The strength of the permanent collection lies in works produced in British Columbia, from 19th-century landscapes to photography by Rodney Graham, Jeff Wall and other members of the Vancouver School of photoconceptualism. A current show, The Distance Between You and Me, examines the theme of location and dislocation through the work of artists from three cities: Los Angeles (Kerry Tribe), Vancouver (Isabelle Pauwels) and Guadalajara (Gonzalo Lebrija). Through January 22.

Vancouver Convention Centre
604-689-8232 / vancouverconventioncentre.com

The recently completed West Building, designed by Seattle-based LMN Architects, makes a strong case that this type of facility need not be a mute, sidewalk-killing box. Located on the downtown waterfront, the LEED Platinum–certified facility boasts a sprawling, six-acre green roof.

Presentation House: Larry Clark, Dead 1970, 1968. Courtesy the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York; collection of the Washington Art Consortium.     Vancouver Art Gallery: Robert Davidson, Killer Whale Transforming into a Thunderbird, 2009. Photo: Trevor Mills.