Exploring the story of Canadian painting in a major exhibition, Entangled: Two Views on Contemporary Canadian Painting

The Vancouver Art Gallery is excited to present Entangled: Two Views on Contemporary Canadian Painting, featuring artists and painting practices from across the country.

The story of contemporary painting in Canada is constantly changing, and for good reason—dynamic and influential art practices, wildly differing opinions and strongly held beliefs make for a charged atmosphere in art schools, studios and public and private galleries. Within the community of painters, strong ideas give shape to new modes of painting and new techniques that are in turn shared, debated, tested and critiqued in studios across Canada.

Entangled: Two Views on Contemporary Canadian Painting offers insight into two distinctly different approaches that have come to dominate contemporary painting in this country. The origins of both can be traced back to the 1970s, to a moment when the continued existence of painting was hotly debated.

Within that debate, two new strategies were devised, one that proposed the possibility of conceptual painting—a notion of painting that emerged from and returned to the idea—and a second painting proposition that valued actions and materiality over ideas—in short, doing and making were pitted against ideas and concepts. Entangled traces the legacy of that debate and documents the artists who have been largely responsible for the strong revival that painting now enjoys in this country.

“Entangled offers a timely opportunity to explore on a national scale the origins and contemporary manifestations of paintings in this country,” says Kathleen S. Bartels, Director of the Vancouver Art Gallery. “With work by thirty-one artists from Halifax to Victoria and many places in-between, the exhibition carries this significant national conversation into the present while offering a survey of the lively debates that have come to make painting relevant and meaningful today.”

Entangled: Two Views on Contemporary Canadian Painting is presented from two conjugate curatorial perspectives. The first, Art As Idea as Painting, curated by artist and Emily Carr University of Art + Design professor David MacWilliam, will feature artists Neil Campbell, Tammi Campbell, Arabella Campbell, Allyson Clay, Gerald Ferguson, Neil Harrison, Jeremy Hof, Garry Neill Kennedy, Guido Molinari, Guy Pellerin, Francine Savard, Jeffrey Spalding, Ron Terada, Claude Tousignant and Julie Trudel.

The second, Performative Painting, curated by Vancouver Art Gallery Senior Curator Bruce Grenville, will feature artists Stephanie Aitken, Marvin Luvualu António, Rebecca Brewer, Sarah Cale, Eric Fischl, Jessica Groome, Colleen Heslin, John Heward, John Kissick, Elizabeth McIntosh, Sandra Meigs, Paterson Ewen, Jeanie Riddle, Michael Snow, Nathalie Thibault and Joyce Wieland.