Above: 900 Oranges by Gathie Falk. All photos by Kristin Lim.
EVAN LEE | Last chance to check out Evan Lee’s exhibition Forged at the Art Gallery at Evergreen in Coquitlam! The show, curated by the gallery’s interim Visual Arts Manager Kate Henderson, brings together new paintings and sculptures in dialogue with past series of works, organized into themes of fakery, economy, and value. At the centre of the gallery, abstract sculptures in stark white are suspended from above, casting shadows on white plinths below. From his 2016 Ichiban series, these are made of cheap, packaged instant noodles, boiled, formed, and painted into artistically tangled masses. In a reiteration of the series, a set of three white frames hang on the gallery wall. The noodles this time, are tightly bound around each frame, creating a white on white painting/sculpture. Continuing Lee’s ongoing interest in our construct of value are his Polish Paintings (2021) — all-black, square paintings, arranged in a group of three and four. Painted using household shoe polish, surfaces reveal buffed and shiny areas against matte areas, and in some, the polish overhangs the edge of the canvas, leaving an uneven, textural edge. Browse the exhibition’s excellent microsite for images of the artist’s process, soundbites, and an artist talk, all which allow you to really get to know Lee’s work, spanning his career.
Feeling the January blues? Time your visit to the gallery right and you can see the exhibition and take a stroll around Lafarge Lake, where their holiday lights remain on display until the end of January.
STEVEN SHEARER | On at Polygon Gallery is an extensive solo exhibition of over 40 works by internationally recognized Vancouver-based artist Steven Shearer. Central to Shearer’s practice is a personal archive of over 74,000 images sourced from books, magazines, and the Internet. Using images from his vast archive, works in the exhibition include photo collages, sculpture, and paintings. Sleep II (2015), an ink on canvas triptych, comprises thousands of snapshots of people sleeping. (Remember Shearer’s billboards along the Arbutus Greenway that were taken down after 48 hours due to public complaints last year, snapshots of people sleeping?) A massive cubic sculpture, Geometric Mechanotherapy Cell for Harmonic Alignment of Movements and Relations (2007-2008), dominating the gallery, is made of PVC pipes and emits a low, slightly menacing sound. Equally dominating, behind it is Sideshow Rigmarole (2020), a 70-foot-wide installation of 33 brightly-coloured, framed prints. A 19-volume series of Artist Books documenting the archive are also on display, revealing the artist’s obsessions — Volume 6: Sleep Captures, Volume 7: Ebay Sabbath & Ozzy Captures, Volume 8: Metal Rock & Mayhem Captures. Don’t miss it, this is the artist’s first major solo exhibition in Canada since 2007.
ELIZABETH ZVONAR | A line drawing of a lady with an updo against a minty green wall with text that reads ‘The Prophets of the Doom Never Had it So Good’, sits in the Hastings Street window of SFU’s Audain Gallery. At 8-feet tall, the proclamation looms over passersby as a teaser message for what’s inside, where chains, roses, hands, good luck charms, and a big dose of humour weave their way through Vancouver artist Elizabeth Zvonar’s solo exhibition Knock on Wood + Whistle. The show features new works in collage, assemblage, and two bronze sculptures. “These bags are my pride and joy” beamed the artist, giving the bronze handbag hanging from a heavy-duty chain in the middle of the gallery a little knock. The other, History, Onus, Old Bag, is a cast bronze duffle bag that sits on a tree stump sourced on Storm Bay. The ‘old bag’ is cast from a leather duffle the artist found at a flea market in Berlin. While not very useful, over time, she thought it would make a really beautiful sculpture and “be fitting as an ode to anti-monument and all that historical baggage we’re addled with.” Apotropaic Magic is a wall sculpture assembled from a found, industrial chain that acts as an exaggerated charm bracelet, where the charms are delicate cast bronze objects including an empty toilet paper roll with safety pins and a button attached to it, a mature garlic bulb, and a burned sage bundle, all intended to protect. There’s a lot to take in, with every image, object, and phrase loaded with references to consumer culture, art history, spirituality, and personal associations for the artist including specific songs or albums that were on heavy rotation throughout the process of making this work, but we’re invited to form our own associations and interpretations, too.
Need a post-gallery treat? Check out Boba Run. They have flavours you can’t find elsewhere, like the Jolly Pong Shake! It’s a milkshake with a handful of the popular Korean cereal snack, Jolly Pong. They use quality loose leaf teas for their classic tea drinks, offer non-dairy milk options, and they do their boba (aka bubbles, pearls) just right, chewy and slightly sweet.
TAKE A WALK | Prefer to stay outdoors these days? Check out these outdoor art projects:
Gathie Falk’s 900 Oranges, 18 Pairs of Blue and White Running Shoes, and 10 Baseball Caps (all 2020) — three sculptures located across from the west side of Q.E. Park, around one of the new condo developments. Falk, whose career began in the late 1960s and early 70s, works in painting, sculpture, performance, and installation and is best-known for her ‘fruit piles’ and sculptures of everyday objects like shoes and caps, often in repetition. 900 Oranges is a monumental pyramid of oranges in cast bronze that sits atop a white cube plinth. The intense orange is eye-catching and unmissable, and upon closer look, you can see the slight variations among the oranges, which are cast from six individual oranges. The running shoes are lined up along the ledge of concrete planter, and the caps greet residents as they enter their building. Read more about the work on the City of Vancouver’s Public Art Registry, here. | 900 Oranges, 18 Pairs of Blue and White Running Shoes, and 10 Baseball Caps | 5077 Cambie St., Vancouver
Nearby is Lyse Lemieux’s fun Family: Five Figures for a Triangle (2020), five double-sided aluminum sculptures, each printed with a cacophony of colourful, patterned textiles. | Family: Five Figures for a Triangle | 4599 Cambie St., Vancouver
And another new work by Lyse Lemieux, Personnages (2021) is a beautiful mosaic mural on The Pacific by Grosvenor building at Pacific and Hornby. The work consists of nine, 18-foot tall figures, inset on both sides of five columns at the building’s entrance. Lemieux’s work explores the figure in abstract, through drawing, painting, and textiles, and in this mural, the figures reference the individuals who make up the community—past, present, or future. We can make out a couple kissing, a pregnant figure, another with a rope, an apron, a backpack and one with a cane. Read more about the work and its inspiration on the City of Vancouver’s Public Art Registry, here. | Personnages | 889 Pacific St., Vancouver
SANDEEP JOHAL | Sandeep Johal has created a mural at the Vancouver Art Gallery as part of a new project, SPOTLIGHT. A collaboration between the Art Rental & Sales Program and the curators of the Gallery, the project invites artists represented by AR&S to create a mural for the Gallery’s lobby. Johal’s recognizable, colourful, geometric style combined with black-and-white line work, inspired by her South Asian Heritage, extends to the lobby’s Hornby Street windows. The mural remains on display until October so there’s lots of time to pop in and have a look.