Need a Screen Break? Three Galleries to Visit Right Now

Give those aching eyeballs a rest, and a feast, with these Vancouver shows.

By Dorothy Woodend 5 Oct 2018 |

Dorothy Woodend writes about film and culture for The Tyee. Find her previous articles here.

Fall in Vancouver is festival season — films abound. After much time spent staring at screens it’s important to look at other things, such as trees, rocks, grass and paintings. Having watched so many films these past few weeks that my eyeballs ache, a couple of gallery visits was in order.

A Curator’s View: Ian Thom Selects is currently on offer at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Thom, the gallery’s former senior curator-historical, recently provided a rundown of his collecting career and ethos, walking invited media through the collection and talking a blue streak. He has assembled an eclectic show, from Warhol to the Group of Seven. Thom’s tenure oversaw more than 80 shows and exhibitions, and from the 12,000 works selected for the gallery’s permanent collection he has fashioned his own take on what’s important.

582px version of Jock-Macdonald-Fall.jpg
One of Ian Thom’s selections: Jock Macdonald, Fall (Modality 16), 1937, oil on canvas. Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Acquisition Fund. Photo courtesy of the Vancouver Art Gallery.

It’s an interesting conversation also happening in the broader cultural world, as people debate who gets to assign value and importance to cultural work, and who gets to take it away. Wesley Morris in the New York Times recently took up an especially fascinating assessment on this topic, but there aren’t any easy or obvious answers at the moment.

It’s also a debate that fuels the work presented at the Polygon Gallery with the Lind Prize. The winner and the nominees are on display at the gallery in North Vancouver until Oct. 7. The Philip B. Lind Emerging Artist prize is awarded to student artists, working in the medium of film, photography, or video. It’s a wildly diverse show that underscores the new generation of artists emerging in Vancouver. Tours take place every Saturday at 2 p.m.

If you simply want to look at beautiful paintings, a display of work from painter Anatoli Badriashvili is currently open to the public at the Chinese Cultural Centre in Vancouver. Badriashvili’s work is very pretty, but there is a quality of quintessential mournfulness, bittersweet and sad, that reminded me of the work of famed Russian animator Yuri Norstein, who employs a similar colour palette, and softness, mixed with almost existentialist suffering and sweetness.  [Tyee]

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