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

True Nordic: How Scandinavia Influenced Design in Canada/
Nordique: L’Influence du design scandinave au Canada

October 28, 2017 to January 28, 2018

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Lars Dressler and Jason Dressler, Brothers Dressler, Branches Chandelier, 2009, white oak, Courtesy of Brothers Dressler

Lotte Bostlund, Bostlund Industries
Lamp, c. 1964
ceramic with paint, spun nylon
Private Collection
Photo: Toni Hafkenscheid



Kjeld Deichmann and Erica Deichmann
Goofus, 1950–63
stoneware with oatmeal glaze
Collection of the Gardiner Museum, Gift of Gail and Gerry Crawford
Photo: Toni Hafkenscheid



Attributed to Sigrun Bülow-Hübe, AKA Furniture Co. Ltd.
AKA Chair, c. 1953
wood
Private collection
Photo: Toni Hafkenscheid


This ground-breaking exhibition examines the significant influence of Scandinavian craft and industrial design on the development of Canadian culture. Spanning more than seven decades, True Nordic reveals how Scandinavian design was introduced in Canada and how its aesthetics and material forms were adopted, revised and transformed. Featuring a wide array of furniture, textiles, ceramics, glass and metalwork, the exhibition offers a critical survey of Canadian design practices from the 1930s to the present.

Canadians first became aware of Scandinavian design through travelling exhibitions, designer showrooms and articles and advertisements in popular magazines, but its significant influence on Canadian design and craft production can be attributed to the influx of immigrants from the region during the Depression and after the Second World War. These new Canadians—often trained in the craft traditions of their homeland—introduced local audiences to a modern and functional aesthetic that privileged natural materials, simplicity of shape and expressive imagery. Canadians, who share a similar climate, topography and democratic government with their Nordic counterparts, admired these pragmatic and rational objects devised for everyday use and began to emulate their material and formal qualities in goods created for the Canadian marketplace. The result was a new national design language that continues to influence artisans working today.

Featuring more than 100 prototypes, designer originals and limited edition and mass-produced wares, True Nordic highlights the enduring legacy of Scandinavian design principles in Canada. Designers will include Niels Bendtsen, Bocci, Karen Bulow, Kjeld and Erica Deichmann, Thor Hansen, Andrew Jones, Janis Kravis, molo, Carl Poul Petersen, Rudolph Renzius and Marion Smith, among many others.

Organized by the Gardiner Museum, Toronto and curated by Rachel Gotlieb and Michael Prokopow.


Supporting Sponsor:


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