On a recent visit to Vancouver, The Art Caravan visited the Vancouver Art Gallery. Sadly, the Cardiff/Miller show, Lost in the Memory Palace, (see August 4 blog entry) was in the tear down/crating stage. (Just imagine their storage issues!)
I decided to take a quick walk through the two painting shows on display….and ended up spending an enjoyable hour or two looking at some great paintings. Painted Past: A History of Canadian Painting from the Collection and Emily Carr & Landon Mackenzie: Woo Chopper and the Monkey both feature strong Canadian paintings.
So….who is Landon Mackenzie? She is a Vancouver based painter, and art professor at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. (You know she’s the ‘real deal’ in Canadian art because she’s been interviewed by Bill Richardson, Vicky Gabereau AND Nora Yonge, those staples of Canadian public radio!) Early in her career, her paintings were justifiably purchased by major collections, like the Art Gallery of Ontario. Her early works are huge; many of the Lost River series are 6.5 x 7.5 feet.
The most surprising thing about this show, for me, was the Emily Carr work. Now, we all know who Emily Carr is…..grande dame (wouldn’t she laugh?!) of Canadian painting. I’ve seen a few Emily Carr paintings in my day (see April 30 blog posting) BUT I was blown away by the powerful paintings displayed here. Wow. This is Emily Carr at her finest.
Kudos to the VAG for two very strong, non-blockbuster, Canadian content shows. (And, yes! They have a great cafeteria.)