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

Barbara Kruger
Untitled (SmashUp)

Through September 5, 2016

Barbara Kruger
Untitled (SmashUp), 2016
site-specific installation at the Vancouver Art Gallery
Photo: Rachel Topham, Vancouver Art Gallery

In the mid-1960s Barbara Kruger studied graphic design at the Parsons School of Design in New York under artists Diane Arbus and Marvin Israel, who introduced her to the city’s underground fashion and photography scenes. Kruger left Parsons to work with Condé Nast Publications, where she quickly rose to the position of head designer at Mademoiselle magazine. She continued to work in publication design, art direction and picture editing for a decade.

In 1979, Kruger began to produce compositions that incorporated found images, which she sourced from commercial print media, with text collaged over top. Her design background is apparent in these stylized “photomontages,” in which the bold combination of text, image and colour subverts the images of advertising.

Kruger is considered a member of the Pictures Generation of artists, who throughout the 1980s recycled, mimicked and appropriated imagery from mass media and other everyday sources. These materials were transformed into critical commentary on consumerism and its role constructing identities linked to gender, class and race.

Kruger’s most recent series of site-specific installations carry forward her use of bold text and solid colour but dispense with images and photographic reprints altogether. Instead, the words play on the architecture of Kruger’s installation sites. Her billboard-size letters wind around walls, crawl up staircases, and inhabit niches, simultaneously erasing and enhancing the architecture. As we work through her installation we become participants in her interrogation of consumption and representation.

MashUp: The Birth of Modern Culture was organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery and curated by Daina Augaitis, Chief Curator/Associate Director, Bruce Grenville, Senior Curator, and Stephanie Rebick, Assistant Curator, with the assistance of an international team of contributing curators.

This artwork was commissioned by the Vancouver Art Gallery as part of the exhibition MashUp: The Birth of Modern Culture, that was on display from February 20 to June 12, 2016.