“Vancouver: Art And Artists 1931–1983”

The Vancouver Art Gallery

Last fall, after a three-year, $20.5-million overhaul by Arthur Erikson Architects, an eccentric neoclassical courthouse—strikingly out of place in the breathtaking Rocky Mountain landscape and banal Modernist cityscape here—officially became the new home of the Vancouver Art Gallery. The huge show entitled “Vancouver: Art and Artists 1931–1983” was the curtain raiser for Canada’s newest art museum.

The placement of the colon in the title is significant. This array of paintings, sculptures, films and videotapes, installations, photographs, and other items organized by gallery curators Scott Watson, Lorna Farrell-Ward, and Jo-Anne Birnie Danzker was meant to be an exposition, not so much of Vancouver fine art, but of Vancouver as cultural fabric, to which artists, architects, designers, and craftsmen have contributed many a stitch and patch.

In the earlier paintings and architecture, certain

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