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

MashUp: The Birth of Modern Culture

February 20 to May 15, 2016


Armando / Vikky Alexander / John Baldessari / Afrika Bambaataa / Fiona Banner / Jean-Michel Basquiat / Edo Bertoglio / David Byrne / Alison Chernick / John Miller Chernoff / Bruce Conner / Joseph Cornell / Tom Dixon / Stan Douglas / Eclectic Method / Brian Eno / Vadim Epstein / Dragan Espenschied / Barbara Ess / Fast Eddie / Deanna Ferguson / General Idea / Jack Goldstein / Grandmaster Flash / Gu Wenda / Keith Haring / Auriea Harvey / Michael Holman / Pierre Huyghe / David Ian Xtravaganza / JODI / Brian Jungen / Mike Kelley / Brian Kennon / The Kidd City Orchestra / Manfred Kirchheimer / Rem Koolhaas / Jeff Koons / Sherrie Levine / Olia Lialina / Jennie Livingston / Madonna / Liz Magor / Maison Martin Margiela / Christian Marclay / Masters at Work / Bruce Mau / Paul McCarthy / MFSB / OMA / Richard Prince / Qiu Zhijie / Chantal Regnault / Roc in Kato / Doris Salcedo / The Salsoul Orchestra / Michaël Samyn / Pierre Schaeffer / Quentin Tarantino / Technotronic featuring Felly / Robert Farris Thompson / Amos Tutuola / Rachel Whiteread / Xu Bing

With economic stagnation, war and political turmoil marring the optimism of the post-war generation, the 1980s witnessed the emergence of a bleaker and more skeptical cultural landscape. A new generation of artists—the first to be raised with television, fast food and an economy based on conspicuous consumption—embraced mashup methodologies as a way to question media culture, consumerism, identity politics and gender relations. This period was characterized by both the emergence of new media, such as multi-track sound recording, portable videotape recording, instant photography and large-scale printing, as well as a massive expansion of the circulation of images and objects within an increasingly global economy. In response, mashup methodology shifted toward strategies of appropriation, détournement and inhabitation as seen in the work of conceptual artists such as Sherrie Levine, Barbara Kruger and John Baldessari and in the emerging subcultures of hip hop and the street as seen in the art of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Tom Dixon. Extending and reconfiguring earlier practices, artists in this third wave of mashup culture used mimicry and parody to question the nature of representation, expose the seductive power of images and destabilize dominant power structures. In addition, the increased availability of personal computers in the 1980s and improvements in digital graphics, sound and design programs spurred new approaches to art production, with Net Art presenting the computer as a distinct medium. By the late 1990s it was clear that techniques used in musical and digital realms had transformed visual culture, with sampling emerging as the dominant creative force of contemporary culture in the 21st century.

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.

Lectures | Talks | Events
Sat, Apr 2 | 3pm/3:30pm/4pm | Flash Talks
Tues, Apr 5, 12, 19 & 26 | 7pm & 8pm | Sound Performances
Fri, Apr 15 | 8pm-12am | FUSE*
Sat, Apr 16 | 3pm/3:30pm/4pm | Flash Talks
Sat, Apr 23 | 3pm | Artist's Talk
Wed, Apr 27 | 6pm | Talk*
Sat, May 14 | 3pm | Artist's Talk*
Wed, May 25 | 6:30pm & 8pm | Film Screening*
Thurs, May 26 | 6:30pm & 8pm | Film Screening*
Tues, May 31 | 7pm | Lecture

Thurs & Sat | 11am/12pm/1pm/2pm/2:30pm | Gallery Tours
Sun | 11am | Gallery Tours
Sat | 11am/12pm/1:30pm/2:30pm | Chinese Language Tours
Sun | 12pm-1pm | Chinese Language Tours

Presenting Sponsor:
The Keg
Generously Supported by:
Artworkers Retirement Society
Joy Chao and John Henshaw
Sherry Killam
Visionary Partner for Scholarship and Publications:
The Richardson Family