Posted on March 5, 2023 at 9:01 pm

Events Featured

The Vancouver Art Gallery Presents Hard-Edge

The Vancouver Art Gallery Presents Hard-Edge

The Vancouver Art Gallery Presents Hard-Edge

The new exhibition from the Vancouver Art Gallery’s collection showcases a selection of modernist abstract paintings, including works being shown for the first time since their acquisition.

March 5th, 2023, Vancouver, BC // Traditional Coast Salish Lands, including the Musqueam (xwməθkwəy̓əm), Squamish (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh) and Tsleil-Waututh (səl̓ilw̓ətaɬ) Nations

Drawn exclusively from the Vancouver Art Gallery’s permanent collection, Hard-Edge is a new exhibition curated by Dr. Richard Hill, Smith Jarislowsky Senior Curator of Canadian Art, encompassing a broad selection of hard-edge abstract paintings from the 1960s and 70s. Audiences are invited to immerse themselves in the brightly-colored and iconic works by artists from Canada and the US, such as Jack Bush, Roy Kiyooka, Guido Molinari, Frank Stella, Takao Tanabe, and Joan Balzar. The selection includes significant acquisitions, some of which have not yet been shown to the public or displayed in this century.

The exhibition features two rare and highly-regarded paintings, Infraction #01 and #02, by BC artist, Joan Balzar, which were recently acquired for the Gallery’s permanent collection in December 2022. Completed in 1967, these two works predate a historical fire that occurred at Balzar’s home studio in 1970, where many of the artist’s pieces were tragically destroyed. Hard-Edge is the first exhibition to present these works to the public since their acquisition.

The exhibition title, Hard-Edge is a direct reference to the aesthetic movement that emerged globally in visual art following the post-war period. Jules Langsner, a California-based art critic, was the first to give the movement its enduring name, “hard-edge abstraction”. Characterized by compositions of flat areas of color separated by crisply defined transitions, hard edge has had a profound influence on visual culture since its origination and can be identified everywhere from the walls of renowned galleries to commercial advertisements and contemporary product packaging.

“Hard-Edge revisits a deeply influential selection of works from our Gallery’s permanent collection,” said Anthony Kiendl, CEO and Director of the Vancouver Art Gallery. “The exhibition is a well-rounded expression of high modern painting. To display these works in the context of this exhibition highlights the depth and scope of our permanent collection and we look forward to regularly presenting an even wider range of our collection to the public with the increased space of our new Vancouver Art Gallery.”

Hard-Edge will be on view to the public from March 4th, 2023 through to June 4th, 2023.

Organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery and curated by Dr. Richard Hill, Smith Jarislowsky Senior Curator of Canadian Art.

Founded in 1931, the Vancouver Art Gallery is recognized as one of North America’s leading and innovative visual arts institutions. The Gallery’s ground-breaking exhibitions, extensive public programs, and emphasis on advancing scholarship all focus on historical and contemporary art from British Columbia and around the world. Special attention is given to the accomplishments of Indigenous artists, as well as to those of the Asia Pacific region—through the Institute of Asian Art founded in 2014. The Gallery’s exhibitions also explore the impact of images in the larger sphere of visual culture, design, and architecture.

The Vancouver Art Gallery is a charitable not-for-profit organization supported by its members, individual donors, corporate funders, foundations, the City of Vancouver, the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts.

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