Our Exhibits

The Vancouver Art Gallery presents exhibitions of work by artists ranging from historic masters to leading-edge contemporaries. These include major thematic exhibitions, presentations of solo artists and smaller, more focused showcases. In a typical year, 2 to 3 exhibitions are borrowed from other institutions and 10 to 12 exhibitions are developed in-house, drawing on our permanent collection and loans of works from around the world. In addition, the Gallery tours a few of its exhibitions each year.

Past Exhibitions

From the Collection

Emily Carr: Into the Forest

May 13 to December 3, 2017


"Emily Carr's paintings, which were made at a time when most people
regarded forests as dark, forbidding places, reflect her profound belief
in both the beauty and spiritual vitality of the forest

- Ian M. Thom, Senior Curator–Historical

Emily Carr
A Rushing Sea of Undergrowth, 1935
oil on canvas
Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Emily Carr Trust

Emily Carr
Untitled, 1938-1939
oil on paper
Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery,
Emily Carr Trust

Emily Carr
Wood Interior, 1932–35
oil on canvas
Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery,
Emily Carr Trust

The Vancouver Art Gallery is home to the finest collection of Emily Carr works in the world. While we are fortunate to have major works from throughout her career, the Gallery’s collection is particularly rich in her forest paintings from the 1930s. These include both her canvases and oil on paper works, a medium she began using during that period. Supplemented with a generous loan of three key early works completed during 1913-1918, and the remarkable Grey, both from private collections, this exhibition highlights her continued explorations of the natural environment—from the formative days of her career to the final stages of her life.

Carr captured the coastal forest landscape, generally around her Victoria home, in a way previously unseen in British Columbian art. Carr exulted in the symphonies of greens and browns found in West Coast forests. With oil on paper as her primary medium, Carr was free to work outdoors in close proximity to the landscape. She went into the forest to paint and saw nature in ways unlike her fellow British Columbians, who perceived it as either untamed wilderness or a plentiful source of lumber. While others thought of the forests as impenetrable and unappealing, Carr saw the vitality of the natural world and seized the opportunity to express her vision of it. The paintings of the forest profoundly shaped not only Carr’s own work but the way British Columbians perceive their surroundings to this day.

Organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery and curated by Ian Thom, Senior Curator-Historical

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