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.

Current Exhibitions

Living, Building, Thinking: art and expressionism

March 3 to May 21, 2018

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Otto Dix
Portrait of Anna Grünebaum, 1926
oil, tempera and gesso on wood panel
McMaster Museum of Art, Levy Bequest Purchase, with the assistance of the Government of Canada through a Department of Canadian Heritage, Cultural Property Export Review Board Purchase Grant, 1993
© Estate of Otto Dix/SODRAC (2018)



Christian Rohlfs
Paar, 1910–11
watercolour and charcoal on paper
McMaster Museum of Art,
Donald Murray Shepherd Trust Purchase, 2011



Käthe Kollwitz
Brustbild einer Arbeiterfrau mit blauem Tuch [Bust of a Working Class Woman With a Blue Shawl], 1903
colour lithograph on sturdy tan wove paper
McMaster Museum of Art, Purchase, 1985


Living, Building, Thinking: art and expressionism uses the German Expressionist collection from the McMaster Museum of Art to explore the development of Expressionism in art from the early 19th century to the present day.

The term Expressionism is invariably associated with the period of art and social activism in Germany between 1905 and 1937, encompassing visual art, literature, philosophy, theatre, film, photography and architecture. In the context of an expanded view on the subject, Living, Building, Thinking offers a rich and thought-provoking perspective on the relationships between artists and societies, and the ever-changing responses and visual expressions that circulate through shared hopes and aspirations for social awareness and change.

Living, Building, Thinking is comprised of more than 90 works in all mediums, including examples of European art from the 16th to early 20th centuries by William Blake, Paul Gauguin and Edvard Munch. Also highlighted are striking works from the German Expressionist and Weimar period, as well as mid-to-late 20th century European paintings by artists like Jörg Immendorf, Anslem Kiefer and Sigmar Polke. Canadian contemporary works by artists such as Barbara Astman, Natalka Husar, Nancy Johnson, Gary Pearson and Tony Scherman demonstrate the lasting legacies of Expressionism.

Organized and circulated by the McMaster Museum of Art and curated by Dr. Ihor Holubizky, Senior Curator


Visionary Partners for Historical Exhibitions:
Huaijun Chen and Family

Government of Canada
This project is supported by the Museums Assistance Program at Canadian Heritage/Ce projet est appuyé dans le cadre du Programme d’aide aux musées de Patrimoine canadien