Entangled – Two Views on Contemporary Canadian Painting 2017 ~ 18


The story of contemporary painting in Canada is constantly under revision, and for good reason—dynamic and influential art practices, wildly differing opinions, strongly held beliefs, high expectations and even higher price tags, 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, ideas and techniques that are in turn shared, debated, tested and critiqued in studios across the country.

This exhibition offers insights into two distinctly different modes that have come to dominate contemporary painting in this country. The origins of both can be effectively 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 proposed the possibility of conceptual painting—painting that emerged from and returned to the idea—the other was a proposition that valued actions and materials adopting a performative way of working.

These propositions are explored in the two distinct selections of works by curators David MacWilliam and Bruce Grenville. Tracing the legacy of that debate through the practices of more than thirty artists from across Canada, Entangled provides an overview of the ways and means with which our artists continue to make painting resonate today.

Organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery.