Click to enter Exhibition
Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, The Impending Nisga'a' Deal. Last Stand. Chump Change. (detail) 1996, VAG 96.27
British Masters, Group of Seven and Pop Icons
Since its inception the Vancouver Art Gallery has relied on the generosity and support of donors. This exhibition highlights the key role that donors have played in the formation and growth of the Gallery's collection from the first works acquired in 1931 to those donated in the past year.
The Vancouver Art Gallery Collection was established in 1931 with funds provided by eleven donors. Over the next two years the Founders' Fund was used to purchase more than 140 works, including 66 paintings, 76 works on paper and 6 sculptures. They were primarily 19th and early 20th century works by British artists, including works by J.M.W. Turner, Frank Brangwyn, David Cox, Thomas Girtin, George Morland, David Wilkie, Edward Burne-Jones and others. By 1951 more than 150 works were purchased with the Fund.
A significant number of works in the Founders' Collection also represented a commitment to the acquisition of Canadian art and the emergence of a recognizable national style, characterized in the work of the Group of Seven and their contemporaries. A component of the exhibition focuses on the Gallery's lasting commitment to this art.
Donors and their donations have continued to shape the Gallery's collection. The exhibition also includes a selection of key works by the Gallery's major donors of the past 75 years. This extraordinary body of work reveals the important role played by collectors and donors in shaping the growth of the Gallery.
First Nations: Myths and Realities
The First Nations peoples of British Columbia were often depicted and their art used as subject matter by non-native artists in British Columbia and others who visited the province. This exhibition displays some of this body of imagery from the collection and contrasts it with work produced by First Nations peoples themselves which celebrates and expands their cultural and artistic practices. This new work is often overtly political and provides a bracing counterpoint to the more mythic imagery of non-native artists.
The Road to Utopia
Early modernism on the Canadian West Coast was marked by idealist dreams of an egalitarian culture. Through key works from the Gallery's collection, this exhibition explores the territory between those utopian yearnings and the skepticism engendered by the tensions, displacements and disappointments that emerged in modernism's wake.
Portrait of a Citizen
This exhibition offers, in a variety of themes, a history of the portrait of the citizen as presented by artists of the past two centuries. The relationship between the citizen, the state and the culture at large, both in support and dissent, are a constant and engaging subject of art. This is a story that is told over time and through diverse media, each offering a new perspective on our condition.