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En-tangled

The Art Caravan briefly visited the Vancouver Art Gallery a couple of weeks ago, and was pleasantly surprised by the exhibition Entangled: Two Views on Contemporary Canadian Painting.

People are People, Sarah Cale, 2013

People are People, Sarah Cale, 2013

Twin of Concealment, 2016, Colleen Heslin

Twin of Concealment, 2016, Colleen Heslin

Polarisation NNB, 2013, Julie Trudel

Polarisation NNB, 2013, Julie Trudel

N=32%, 2006, Francine Savard

N=32%, 2006, Francine Savard

I walked into the various rooms of the show, experiencing the artworks without reading the curatorial statement, or the explanations….somewhat unusual for me. Instead I moved through the show twice, discussed some of the pieces with my companion, and took a few photos of the works I found particularly intriguing and satisfying.  Only while preparing this posting,  did I read the VAG’s brief description:

Entangled: Two Views on Contemporary Canadian Painting offers an insight into two distinctly different modes of painting that have come to dominate contemporary painting in this country. The origins of both can be effectively traced back to the 1970s, to a moment when the continued existence of painting was hotly debated. Within that debate two new strategies were devised, one that proposed the possibility of conceptual painting—a highly refined notion of painting that emerged from and returned to the idea—and a second, ambivalent proposition that valued actions and materials over ideas—in short, doing and making were pitted against ideas and concepts.

So:  the conceptual as opposed to the material.  When I look at the paintings I photographed, I realize I had unconsciously gravitated towards the second proposition:  the materials and the making were more interesting to me than the conceptual works.  I suspect it may have something to do with the tactile, textural works being more easily understood and appreciated.

For example, Colleen Heslin‘s work is composed of canvas, dyed by the artist, and pieced together–referencing collage, fiber arts, quilting, and even tie-dyeing from the 70’s.

Pause, 2016, Colleen Heslin

Pause, 2016, Colleen Heslin

Painting fragments, adhered acrylic and oil make up Sarah Cale‘s pieces.  They, too, have a collage feeling, reminiscent of the groundbreaking work of Picasso and Braque at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Strange to be Yourself, Sarah Cale, 2015

Strange to be Yourself, Sarah Cale, 2015

Strange to be Yourself; People are People, Sarah Cale

Strange to be Yourself; People are People, Sarah Cale

Perhaps Francine Savard‘s pieces combine both the conceptual and the material.  Les Couleurs de Cézanne dans les mots de Rilke reference the poet Rilke’s writings about the Impressionist painter, Cézanne, who was, in turn, extremely interested in the poet, Baudelaire. The ‘painting’ is composed of  vinyl and acrylic paint on canvas, mounted on fibreboard, and includes a framed book.

Les Couleurs de CEZANNE dans les mots de RILKE, Francine Savard

Les Couleurs de CEZANNE dans les mots de RILKE, Francine Savard

Les Couleurs de CEZANNE dans les mots de RILKE (detail), Francine Savard

Les Couleurs de CEZANNE dans les mots de RILKE (detail), Francine Savard

There are 31 Canadian painters in this show…..and I was only familiar with one of them.  It’s exciting to learn about contemporary Canadian painting. I encourage you to visit the VAG soon, if possible.  The show ends January 1, 2018.

 

 

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Postcards from Venice

Ahhhh…..Venice.  Sigh.

Click on an image to start the slideshow…..

 

 

 

Our Brains Like Art…..

….they really do!

Of course, we at the Art Caravan knew this intuitively, but there’s new research from the University of Toronto to back this up. Ann Lukits writes in the Wall Street Journal : The study found that paintings activated areas of the brain involved in vision, pleasure, memory, recognition and emotions, in addition to systems that underlie the conscious processing of new information to give it meaning.

Now we have evidence to support our love of art.  Even more, it gives us license to exercise our art appreciating brains every day!

Enjoy your exercise (!) looking at the work of these wonderful Winnipeg artists…..

Robert Irwin in La Jolla

It was another pleasant surprise to discover Robert Irwin‘s presence in La Jolla.  Who’s Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue III,  was originally a site-specific installation in London, England in 2013.  The original installation was photographed by Phiipp Scholz Ritterman, and is now presented as a mural. Quint Contemporary Art is featuring an exhibition of several new works by Robert Irwin.   The works, exploring light, shadow, reflection and colour, are shown off to their advantage in this space. Along with the installation at the Athenaeum Music and Arts Library, it’s a Robert Irwin buffet feast in La Jolla, California! I’m looking forward to reading Irwin’s biography, Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees  by Lawrence Weschler.

Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain

Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain

We have art in order not to die from the truth.
Nietzsche

We have art in order to glimpse the truth.
Terry Vatrt