Director's Welcome

Welcome from Kathleen Bartels, Director of the Vancouver Art Gallery

Photo: Pardeep Singh

It's been an incredibly busy and exciting spring at the Vancouver Art Gallery!
In March, we opened Material Future: The Architecture of Herzog & de Meuron and the Vancouver Art Gallery, an exhibition that offers an in-depth look at the history of the Gallery and our plans for a new and purpose-built art museum at the Larwill Park site. This presentation looks at the design philosophy of the internationally renowned architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron, who were selected as the design architects of the new Vancouver Art Gallery. In May, the Gallery launched a series of public events related to the exhibition, inviting our Members and the public to join us as we move forward on this monumental project. We were delighted to host Jacques Herzog for a lecture at the Orpheum Theatre and were thrilled to see an enthusiastic crowd that cares so deeply about art, architecture, culture and our city. We rounded out May with a public symposium on the theme of “building for change,” facilitating extensive discussions about the design for urban public space. In the coming months we will present walking tours led by historians and artists that include the Gallery's new site and surrounding neighbourhoods. Meanwhile, we have been working closely with Herzog & de Meuron and our local architects Perkins+Will on the conceptual design and master plan of the new Gallery building, which will be officially revealed in late June.

This summer we also look forward to presenting an extraordinary roster of exhibitions that put a spotlight on artists whose innovation and critical thinking inspire us to further contemplate our relationship with the world. In Of Heaven and Earth: 500 Years of Italian Painting from Glasgow Museums, we are thrilled to provide a rare opportunity for visitors to experience the range and beauty of historical Italian painting from the late 14th century to the late 19th century. This exhibition showcases works by many iconic artists who helped to drive Italian art to international acclaim, including Sandro Botticelli, Giovanni Bellini, Titian and many other masters. With How Do I Fit This Ghost in My Mouth?, we are very proud to present a major survey exhibition of Vancouver-based artist Geoffrey Farmer, who is internationally known for his conceptually driven artworks that are grounded in the artistic traditions of collage and assemblage. On June 11, we open Residue: The Persistence of the Real, which explores a fascination with the camera through work in photography, film and video, and features recent work by Robert Burley, Stan Douglas, Babak Golkar, Geoffrey James, Brian Jungen and Duane Linklater, Catherine Opie and Amie Siegal. The Gallery's Offsite introduces a new public artwork by Mumbai-based artist Reena Saini Kallat, who has created a compelling world migration map in the heart of downtown Vancouver to provoke dialogues on the expansion of urban spaces around the world.

We are delighted to announce that the Gallery's annual fundraising Gala, to be held on June 12, is officially sold out. Co-chaired by Pamela Richardson, Gallery Trustee, and Catherine Guadagnuolo, the President and Founder of the Vestis Fashion Group, this event will feature a fashion show of the Fall/Winter runway collection of Max Mara, Italian cuisine by Executive Chef Umberto Menghi, and an auction of rare and unique treasures.

None of this would have happened without you–our valued Gallery Members. Your ongoing support and feedback contribute enormously to the Vancouver Art Gallery's continued growth and success. I wish you all a wonderful, art-filled summer and look forward to sharing with you these exciting exhibitions and special events.

Kathleen S. Bartels