Vancouver is home to the largest art gallery in Western Canada and its permanent collection continues to grow.
This week, the Vancouver Art Gallery announced the acquisition of 334 artworks in 2018 — the majority of which were gifted through private donors.
Notable pieces added to the permanent collection include a portfolio of works by Fred Herzog, a photo series by Sarah Anne Johnson, recently presented works by Elad Lassry, as well as contemporary works by Indigenous artists Brian Jungen, Sonny Assu, and Wayne Alfred.
Director of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Kathleen S. Bartels, says the gallery is “proud to add remarkable works of art to its collection due to an outpouring of support by donors from Canada and abroad.”
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Collector and former Vancouver Art Gallery acquisition committee member, Tim Kerr, donated 24 pieces — his largest to-date. This includes a portfolio of 15 historic black-and-white photographs by the influential Fred Herzog dating from the 1950s to 1980s. Kerr also donated four works by BC artist Graham Gilmore.
Meanwhile, Winnipeg-born artist Sarah Anne Johnson donated her major installation Tree Planting (2003-4) which is comprised of 65 photographs that chronicle the adventures in tree planting. Johnson’s work is currently on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and it’s included in the collection of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.
The Gallery’s collection has become a comprehensive resource for visual culture in BC since 1931. Conceptual and photo-based work, art by contemporary Indigenous artists, and prominent art from Asia are among the Gallery’s priorities.
“The gallery’s curators have been working for years to build the collection. We look forward to initiating a series of exhibitions on the gallery’s fourth floor in 2019 that will highlight selections from the collection, including recent acquisitions,” says Rochelle Steiner, associate director and chief curator of the Vancouver Art Gallery.
At present, the gallery’s collection boasts over 12,000 artworks but with its current space, only a small portion of works can be seen by the public on a temporary basis. However, the new building by Herzog & de Meuron will have 40,000-sq-ft dedicated to showcasing the collection, allowing Vancouverites and visitors to enjoy them throughout the year.
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