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

Carol Sawyer: The Natalie Brettschneider Archive

October 28, 2017 to February 4, 2018

Natalie Brettschneider and unknown pianist, the Banff Centre for the Arts, c. 1951
archival ink jet print from original negative
Carol Sawyer/Natalie Brettschneider Archive, Acquired with the assistance of Sarah Fuller, Banff Centre, 2012

Last known photograph of Natalie Brettschneider, Vancouver, 1986
archival ink jet print from original negative
Carol Sawyer/Natalie Brettschneider Archive
Gift of Erika Heininger Sawyer, 2002

For fifteen years, Vancouver-based artist Carol Sawyer has been conducting research and making artworks that enrich and expand the Natalie Brettschneider Archive. Carol Sawyer: The Natalie Brettschneider Archive presents the latest findings of this ongoing research project that deftly reconstructs the life and work of the genre-defying, fictional artist Natalie Brettschneider.

Beginning with her childhood in New Westminster, through her travels in Canada and Europe and her eventual return to British Columbia, real people, places and events are woven throughout Brettschneider’s story. The photographs, letters, paintings, films and other materials on view connect Natalie Brettschneider to a rich community of interdisciplinary women artists working in Europe and British Columbia from the 1920s to the 1970s. The practices of these artists were often under-represented in institutional collections and largely excluded from historical accounts of modernist art history in this region. By using a fictional character to draw attention to the work of these artists, Sawyer opens this period up to a reconsideration of the diverse practices, subjects and actors that shaped the course of mid-century modernism in this region and in many ways set the stage for the interdisciplinary practices of the 1960s and 70s.

Carol Sawyer: The Natalie Brettschneider Archive features works from the Vancouver Art Gallery’s permanent collection alongside artworks and archival materials borrowed from regional and national galleries, archives and private lenders.

Organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery in collaboration with the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, the Art Gallery of Windsor and Carleton University Art Gallery. Curated by Bruce Grenville, Senior Curator

Visionary Partner for BC Artist Exhibitions:
David Aisenstat

Visionary Partner for Photography Exhibitions:
Miles, Maureen and Larry Lunn