Thursday, April 25, 2019

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Because we have been waiting for you for a decade

Art Fag

Kevin Schmidt

You don’t even need to go inside the CAG to see my favorite work in the current wry ‘n’ dry exhibition “Concrete Language.” Just walk past the display windows on Nelson Street and check out a 1981 specimen of the matter-of-fact, text-only works that have constituted the grand-daddy of conceptualism Lawrence Weiner’s practice since the ‘70s. The exhibit involves numerous artists from Vancouver and abroad, and is on until November 5. Stay tuned for a public talk by Weiner scheduled sometime next month, exact date TBA. At Catriona Jeffries’ still-new (cavernous and commanding) location on East 1st, Kevin Schmidt of Burning Bush and Long Beach Led Zep fame forges on through the woodsy almost-sublime familiar from past works, this time with a trompe-l’oeil tree and a very Sad Wolf (detail pictured right). While we’re on the subject, work by another CJG artist, the late Jerry Pethick, was recently unveiled on the north shore of False Creek: the Planet of the Apes-y Time Top, a surprisingly bearable new public artwork.

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Art Fag: Paint

PAINT is already on view at the VAG, and the opening party (for which non-members will have to exercise their crashing skills) happens on the 6th. Guest-curated by artist and ECIAD instructor Neil Campbell, it features newish works by Vancouver ex-pats Peter Schyuff and Jessica Stockholder, as well as (comparatively) new kids on the block Etienne Zack, Matthew Brown, Elizabeth McIntosh, Arabella Campbell, Tim Gardner, Holger Kalberg, and Charlie Roberts. And yes, an institutional nod to local up-and-comers invites comparisons to the VAG’s 1985 Young Romantics exhibition, starring Angela Grossman, Atilla Richard Lukacs, et al., but I say check your speculations at the door. They’re rendered totally boring in the face of the beautiful hugeness and unfakeable chops of PAINT.

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