Major exhibition opens featuring Stan Douglas, Ian Wallace, Jin-me Yoon and more

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Major exhibition opens featuring Stan Douglas, Ian Wallace, Jin-me Yoon and more
Stan Douglas, View of Clearcuts from Blowhole Bay (from the Nootka Sound series),1996. Chromogenic print, 18 x 36 inches.

VANCOUVER, BC.- The Gordon Smith Gallery of Canadian Art opened a seminal exhibition that brings together works by eight contemporary Canadian artists of international acclaim. On display from April 12 until June 22, 2024, Prevailing Landscapes features artists Kim Dorland, Stan Douglas, Tim Gardner, Cameron Kerr, Krystle Silverfox, Ian Wallace, Jin-me Yoon, and Karen Zalamea. Spanning painting, drawing, photography, video, and sculpture, among other media, the collection of over 35 works presents a critical look at historically romanticized perspectives of the Great Canadian Wilderness.

The landscape has been a dominant theme within Canadian art history, and it remains a consistent area of inquiry, intrigue, and inspiration for contemporary Canadian artists. As a subject matter, the physical vastness of the landscape has provided a backdrop for visual artists across time periods and genres. Through this latest exhibition at the Gordon Smith Gallery, distinctions between place and landscape are deeply explored, scrutinizing portrayals of the land that are rooted in colonial perspectives.

“Historically,” explains exhibition curator, Jackie Wong, “we have engaged with the Canadian landscape through the male gaze – a romanticized colonial perspective of the Great Canadian Wilderness. Prevailing Landscapes considers how contemporary art challenges this dominant view, and, in turn, our collective understanding of the landscape.”

Together, the works presented engage in thought-provoking dialogues on acculturation, Indigenous identity, diasporic community connections to place, and the impact of industrialization and technology on geography. Emphasizing the interconnectedness of landscapes and subject matter, the exhibition also demonstrates the pivotal role of the landscape in driving the perceived meaning of an artwork.

“For Gordon Smith Gallery, a landmark of the late Gordon Smith's enduring legacy, this is a critical moment,” describes executive director Meredith Preuss. “Presenting such an exhibition, not only of international calibre, but of international significance, offers a window into the exceptional role that Canadian art can and does play in reevaluating perspectives and providing educational opportunities.”

Prevailing Landscapes is presented by The Gordon and Marion Smith Foundation for Young Artists in partnership with Artists For Kids, and is part of the 2024 Capture Photography Festival Selected Exhibition Program. The exhibition is generously supported by Parc Retirement Living, with additional support from the North Vancouver Recreation and Culture Commission, the North Vancouver School District, and Iain Mant. A concurrent Speaker Series, which will run throughout the year, was realized with the support of the Audain Foundation and Polygon Homes.

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