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

The Poetics of Space

January 31 to May 24, 2015

Karin Bubaš
Photographs and Red Car, 2003
chromogenic print
Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery
Gift of Anne Morse and Jeremy Caddy in Memory of John and Elizabeth Caddy

Ron Terada
Entering City of Vancouver, 2002
steel, vinyl, wood, paint, light fixture, light bulb
Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery
Gift of Phil Lind

The Poetics of Space features both historical and contemporary works that investigate the idea of space, whether they are conceptually, analytically or emotionally founded. This exhibition takes its title from Gaston Bachelard's 1958 book of the same name that presents a psychic interpretation of "home," and one's prototypical experiences of personal space; in the book Bachelard discusses the way our perceptions of shelter begin to delineate the very essence of how we think and imagine. Using this text as a starting point, the exhibition explores the symbolic meaning of spaces as tied to ideas of perception, memory, intimacy and experience. Inspired by Cézanne's analytic approach to depicting space (on view in a concurrent exhibition at the Gallery in Cézanne and the Modern), the first section of the exhibition, "Fracturing of Form," examines the ways artists have historically contended with conveying pictorial problems of depth on a two dimensional plane. The following area, "Psychic Weight," focuses on the intimacy of inhabited structures or other familiar locations to reveal how they are laden with emotional intensity and symbolic meaning. A third section features works in which artists have conceptualized a site in non-traditional ways, mapping it according to their own purposes or acknowledging its layered socio-cultural histories. Ultimately, the exhibition reveals the expansive and subjective ways in which artists have grappled with depicting and defining space over time.

The works included in The Poetics of Space are part of the Gallery's permanent collection, including several being exhibited for the first time, as well as strategic loans that create a dialogue with works already in the Gallery's holdings.

Organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery and curated by Daina Augaitis, Chief Curator/Associate Director, with assistant curator Emmy Lee Wall.

Visionary Partner for Permanent Collection Exhibitions:
Michael O'Brian Family Foundation