Ex­pe­ri­ence Art Through the Ages


Ex­pe­ri­ence Art Through the Ages

Merely a fledg­ling, just seven months old, the Audain Art Mu­seum has al­ready wel­comed more than 30,000 peo­ple through its doors to tour the ex­tra­or­di­nary per­ma­nent col­lec­tion of nearly 200 art­works from coastal Bri­tish Columbia. While most ven­tures of this ten­der age are learn­ing to crawl, the mu­seum is leap­ing ahead, em­brac­ing both art afi­ciona­dos and those with an ap­pre­ci­a­tion for art, of all ages, in a dance span­ning four cen­turies of art his­tory.

More than 100 highly trained vol­un­teer do­cents lead tours through the ex­quis­ite gal­leries fea­tur­ing the art­work of Emily Carr, E.J. Hughes, Gor­don Smith, Jack Shad­bolt, Jeff Wall, Dana Clax­ton, Mar­i­anne Ni­col­son, Stan Dou­glas and many more.

The mu­seum is hum­ming with school pro­grams, work­shops for adults, fam­ily-friendly tours like the monthly Kids Kon­nect Tours and Fam­ily Stu­dio Sun­days, as well as guest-artist speak­ers. In ad­di­tion, the Audain show­cases three or more tem­po­rary ex­hi­bi­tions a year.

From Geisha to Diva:

The Ki­mono of Ichi­maru fo­cuses on the ki­mono and ac­cou­trements of Ichi­maru, one of Ja­pan’s best-known geisha and singers through the mid-20th cen­tury. Geisha are tra­di­tional Ja­panese fe­male en­ter­tain­ers skilled at mu­sic, danc­ing, po­etry and the art of con­ver­sa­tion, specif­i­cally for the en­joy­ment of wealthy men. From Geisha to Diva tells the life story of Ichi­maru, her am­bi­tion to be­come one of the most skilled geisha, and her even­tual rise to na­tional star­dom as a singer. Up close, the ki­monos are fas­ci­nat­ing, like robes of roy­alty, such is the qual­ity of the silk tex­tiles, the minute gold-thread em­broi­dery, and the el­e­gant pat­terns of the nat­u­ral world. In part­ner­ship with the Art Gallery of Greater Vic­to­ria, and en­hanced with gifts from Ms. Yoshi Kara­sawa and Mrs. Suzuki, the trav­el­ling ex­hi­bi­tion

demon­strates the im­por­tance of geisha and how they be­came the con­ser­va­tors of tra­di­tional Ja­panese cos­tume, mu­sic, song and dance through the ages. The ex­hi­bi­tion is open un­til Jan. 9, 2017.


Con­tem­po­rary Artist Films trans­forms the spe­cial ex­hi­bi­tion space of the main floor into a se­ries of film/video rooms show­cas­ing the artists’ works. “This is very much an ex­hi­bi­tion about the in­ter­sec­tion of ideas and con­cepts re­lated to the en­vi­ron­ment, iso­la­tion, and in­ter­ac­tion with peo­ple,” says Dar­rin Martens, Gail and Stephen A. Jaris­lowsky chief cu­ra­tor of the mu­seum and of this ex­hibit. In­ter­sec­tions fea­tures a slate of Cana­dian and in­ter­na­tional artists, in­clud­ing Matilda As­lizadeh, Pa­trick Ber­natchez, Stan Dou­glas, Pas­cal Grand­mai­son and Marie-Claire Blais, Lisa Jack­son, Fiona Tan and Althea Thauberger. The ex­per­i­men­tal and con­tem­po­rary films and videos are be­tween three and 40 min­utes in length. Fiona Tan’s haunt­ing short film Ghost Dwellings III de­picts eerily peace­ful scenes of the aban­doned wrecks of homes in the af­ter­math of the earth­quake and tsunami in Fukushima, Ja­pan, while a Geiger counter car­ried by the film­maker clicks omi­nously in the back­ground. The film Lost in Time, by Pa­trick Ber­natchez, in­ter­twines two nar­ra­tives in a land­scape of ice and snow, in an end­less time loop of life and death. “This is our first con­tem­po­rary spe­cial ex­hi­bi­tion,” Martens says, “and we’re re­ally hop­ing this will res­onate with a younger au­di­ence that is in­ter­ested in the mov­ing im­age as an art form in it­self.” Visit In­ter­sec­tions: Con­tem­po­rary Artist Films un­til Feb. 6, 2017.

In early 2017, Fred Her­zog: Shad­ow­lands

will fea­ture the work of the Van­cou­ver pho­tog­ra­pher, who is best known for his doc­u­men­tary/art street pho­tog­ra­phy of work­ing-class peo­ple from the 1950s and ’60s. “What’s in­trigu­ing about his im­ages is they do speak to a larger cul­ture,” Martens says. “Even though the streets are in Van­cou­ver, they could be Chicago. They could be New York, or al­most any­where. There is a uni­ver­sal­ity in his im­ages that is quite unique.” One of the fea­tures of Her­zog’s pho­tog­ra­phy is his abil­ity to in­cor­po­rate light and dark within his com­po­si­tion, and how that adds to the nar­ra­tive or pic­ture. The mu­seum is part­ner­ing with Equinox Gallery and Taschen Books for the ex­hi­bi­tion, which runs from Jan. 20 to May 22, 2017.

Matisse Draw­ings:

Cu­rated by Ellsworth Kelly from the Pierre and Tana Foun­da­tion Col­lec­tion is a trav­el­ling ex­hi­bi­tion, or­ga­nized and cir­cu­lated by the Amer­i­can Fed­er­a­tion of Arts and the Mount Holyoke Col­lege Art Mu­seum in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Pierre and Tana Matisse Foun­da­tion. The ex­hi­bi­tion fea­tures 45 draw­ings by Henri Matisse. They in­clude a num­ber of his fin­ished draw­ings, some of his well-known por­traits, and some of his un­fin­ished draw­ings and quick sketches, many of which have sel­dom been ex­hib­ited. “The ex­hi­bi­tion show­cases the depth and breadth of the artist, how pro­found he was and how much he could ac­tu­ally say with a sin­gle line,” Martens says. Com­ple­ment­ing the show is a suite of nine plant lith­o­graphs by the late Ellsworth Kelly called The Botan­i­cal Lith­o­graphs, a se­ries of sim­plis­tic, yet mag­nif­i­cent line draw­ings of plants. Matisse Draw­ings will be dis­played from Feb. 24 to May 22, 2017.

(Page 44 - Top Im­age) Geisha Por­trait of Ichi­maru, date un­known - Un­known pho­tog­ra­pher - Pho­to­graph - Di­men­sions vari­able Col­lec­tion of the Art Gallery of Greater Vic­to­ria (Page 45 - Top Im­age) Fred Her­zog Two Men in Fog, 1958 - Archival pig­ment print...

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