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

David Milne: Modern Painting

June 16 to September 9, 2018

David Milne
The Boulder, 1916
oil on canvas
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery, Acquired with the assistance of the Women's Committee and The Winnipeg Foundation, G-62-12
Photo: Ernest Mayer

David Milne: Modern Painting documents an artistic career that spanned the first half of the twentieth century, bringing together almost ninety works in oil and watercolour, never-before-exhibited photographs and drawings by the artist, and memorabilia collected by Milne during his time in Europe as an official war artist. Arranged chronologically and topographically, the exhibition follows Milne’s artistic development as he moved from the bustling sidewalks of New York City to the war-torn landscapes of northern France and back again to the woods, fields and skies of northeastern US and Canada. It documents the change in Milne’s approach as he moved from the Post-Impressionist style of his New York years, with its vivid colours and dynamic brushstrokes, to the more distilled visual language of his later work.

David Milne was one of Canada’s most innovative and original artists. One of the few Canadian who exhibited in the 1913 Armory Show in New York City, Milne quickly became an artist of exceptional range and capacity. Initially working in New York City and the environs of upper New York State, Milne’s brilliant use of colour and almost pointillist application of colour soon marked him as an artist to watch. Enlisting in the Canadian Armed Forces in 1918, Milne travelled first to the United Kingdom and then to France where he depicted the Canadian Forces and sites of Canadian battles. The speed with which he was required to work meant that he developed a new approach to using watercolour—the drybrush, which allowed him to rapidly transfer his vivid impressions onto paper. These watercolours, which are the core of the exhibition, are amongst the most memorable images in Canadian art. Following his war work, Milne returned to rural New York State a changed artist. His treatment of the North American landscape was defined by his recent experience in France and he also tried to translate the achievements of the watercolours into his oil paintings. His work from Boston Corner, Mount Riga and Alander sees the landscape in a highly original manner quite unlike any other artist. Milne returned to Canada permanently in 1929 and the exhibition follows his work throughout Ontario in Temagami, Palgrave, Weston and Six Mile Lake, ending with images of Six Mile Lake from the mid-thirties. The experience of his war work had a profound influence on Milne’s trajectory as an artist and this exhibition is the first to closely examine this fundamental shift in his work in depth. 

Dulwich Picture Gallery

McMichael Canadian Art Collection

Major Sponsor:
Visionary Partners for Historical Exhibitions:
Huaijun Chen and Family

Additional support:
Joanie Anderson

Paint for the exhibition space has been generously provided by Farrow & Ball.