I love museums that have a strong point of view. It's obvious that the Vancouver Art Gallery focuses on photography and video installations. They have impressive collections in both categories. I've never been to a museum that presents video installations in such an elegant way. I'm not always a fan of video, but it's hard not to like art that is so lovingly curated. Unfortunately video doesn't make for good blog posts. So I'll focus on other works in the Vancouver Art Gallery permanent collection.
I'm guessing that Every Building on 100 West Hastings Street (2001, chromogenic print) by Vancouver artist Stan Douglas is an homage to Ed Ruscha's 1996 work, Every Building on the Sunset Strip. Whatever it is, it's a stunning photograph. The perspective is nearly perfect even though it's the result of photo foolery, taking pictures of individual buildings and bringing them together in a single, massive image.
Another brilliant photographic work is Selected Works from Vancouver Apartments (1997-1998, chromogenic prints) by Vancouver-based artist Chris Gergley. This work present image after nearly-identical image of the entrances to mid-century apartments. I'd love to see all the images from this work. This is a photographer that appeals to my love of repetition, particularly when the repeated items are so different.
I didn't realize that Jeff Wall is a Vancouver native. But now that I know that, it makes sense that the Vancouver Art Gallery has a nice trio of Wall photographs. I loved this oversized image that felt almost like a window cut into the gallery and opening onto Vancouver.
I can't leave this post without showing two works by Vancouver artist Ken Lum. First is Panda (2007, lacquer sheet, acrylic paint, and aluminum).
And then there is this magical work, Cetology (2002, plastic chairs). Yes, it's made with plastic lawn chairs. How can you not love this?