Monthly Archives: June 2012

Glass and Glitter: Matthew Monahan at the Contemporary Art Gallery

by Jen Huang

Matthew Monahan, Installation View, Contemporary Art Gallery, photo: Scott MasseyMatthew Monahan,  Installation view, (2012), Contemporary Art Gallery, photo: Scott Massey (http://www.contemporaryartgallery.ca/#exhibitions)

Matthew Monahan’s solo show at the Contemporary Art Gallery is an accumulation of his past eight years of work. Upon entering one of the galleries, I approached  Datong (2005-2007): a large, rough, wooden figure covered by a glass sheet. Its facial features and use of glitter are an example of Monahan’s attempt at taking an abstract concept and “gradually layering it with skins, stuffing it with organs, [and] sprinkling magic powders on it to make it come alive.” It can be assumed that in Monahan’s art the “magic powders” at work are the occasional appearance of glitter: the magic powder giving life. Matthew Monahan’s works feel like a balancing act between two mediums, with the incorporation of image into sculpture-like forms. Surrounding Datong (2005-2007) are pieces made with materials such as polyurethane foam, glass, and bronze. Pairing materials seen as “constantly permeable” with hardened surfaces like glass was an effort, Monahan explains, of exploring the reversal from figuration, abstraction, and conceptualism within the walls of an exhibition.

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“Following the Sound of the West Wind Down”: Some Notes on the Moral Character of a Concrete Poet

by Sean Michael Nelson

As well as the work of Michael Morris, the recent exhibit Letters: Michael Morris and Concrete Poetry at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery also featured the work of a number of other poets who worked in the field of concrete poetry. Among them was bpNichol.

bpNichol’s Blues. Image source <bpNichol.ca> retrieved May 9, 2012

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Emily Carr and the Theatre of Transcendence

by Rhys Edwards

Emily Carr and the Theatre of Transcendence is refreshingly daring. It’s located on the fourth floor of the Vancouver Art Gallery, where few are likely to venture after trawling though an abundance of other spectacles. And, while the Gallery’s endorsement of Carr is ever-omnipresent, the variety of artworks on display exhibit a clear and consistent engagement with transcendentalism, while some works overtly aspire towards or even exude sublimity.

Emily Carr, Tree Trunk [detail], 1931, oil on canvas, courtesy of Vancouver Art Gallery

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Inside and Out: An Interview with Diane Espiritu

by Debbie Cheung

Diane Espiritu is Satellite Gallery’s resident artist at Inside and Out, an interactive drawing event on June 9th as part of this year’s Vancouver Draw Down. We visited her newly renovated studio in Chinatown and got a behind the scenes look at her work.

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