Fall Arts Preview: Yoko Ono, Picasso, Barkley L. Hendricks, and diasporic works among this season's offerings

Lovers of visual arts can also take in an exploration of African and Black people's identity at the Museum of Anthropology at UBC

    1 of 9 2 of 9

      Here’s one great thing about galleries: it’s relatively easy to create physical distance between yourself and others by simply moving to another work of art. Below, you can learn about eight exhibitions taking place this fall in Metro Vancouver.

      Mitra Mahmoodi's Aftabeh (installation detail), 2018, is comprised of earthenware clay of variable dimensons.

      A Practice in Gestures

      (Richmond Art Gallery, September 10 to November 7)

      Curator Nan Capogna reflects daily rituals, domestic practices, and gestures, featuring the work of six diverse B.C.-based female artists: Farheen HaQ, Deborah Koenker, Bev Koski, Mitra Mahmoodi, Bettina Matzkuhn, and Barbara Zeigler.

      “At the start of the pandemic, we saw a collective turn inward toward the home and to making things by hand; more than a year later this exhibition provides perspective on what these kinds of simple practices can offer,” Capogna said in a news release announcing the show.

      The Barkley L. Hendricks & Lorna Simpson exhibition ran for a month at the rennie museum in early 2020 before the pandemic struck.
      rennie museum

      Barkley L. Hendricks and Lorna Simpson: Collected Works

      (rennie museum, September 11 to October 16.)

      American painter Barkley L. Hendricks distinguished himself with life-sized portraits of Black Americans, including his self-portraits. In this exhibition, rennie museum is presenting Brilliantly Endowed, a 1977 self-portrait of Hendricks in the nude. The show also features 307 photographs by Lorna Simpson, as well as five large-scale paintings that were shown at the 2015 Venice Biennale.

      The exhibition ran for a month in early 2020 before being shuttered due to the pandemic.

      “Simpson carefully deconstructs and reconstructs reality to subvert traditional notions of identity and experience,” the rennie museum states on its website. “In recognizing the flaws and exclusivity of representation in our society, Hendricks refused to be labelled or politicized and instead emphasized his passion for painting.”

      Sandeep Johal's Digital drawings (2021) features Laxmi Bai, Selvi, and Phoolan Devi.

      Sandeep Johal: What If?

      (Surrey Art Gallery, September 18 to December 11)

      Vancouver multidisciplinary artist Sandeep Johal imagines how her life might have unfolded had she been exposed in adolescence to daring, trailblazing South Asian women in history as opposed to the Spice Girls.

      Thirteen of these pioneers and rebels are represented in her Hard Kaur series, offering inspiration and helping the next generation of South Asian teenagers reconnect to their heritage.

      Sho-Sho Esquiro

      Sho Sho Esquiro: Doctrine of Discovery

      (Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art, September 22 to June 5, 2022)

      The award-winning designer, artist, and activist shows off the resilience of Indigenous communities through crafted couture gowns, textiles, paintings, and photographs. Curated by Miranda Belarde-Lewis, this show is intended to make visitors think about the theft and murder of Indigenous women and children while honouring those who have resisted this.


      Eric Metcalfe, in situ work at Truslowski offices from the Brutopia series.
      Trapp Projects

      Teeth, Loan and Trust Company, Consolidated: The Trylowsky Collection

      (Griffin Art Projects, September 24 to December 11)

      Vancouver dentist Zenon Trylowsky is showing his private collection, which began when he accepted art in return for maintaining some artist patients’ teeth. Over time, he acquired works by Vikky Alexander, Rodney Graham, Adad Hannah, and others, normally showing it in his dental office. This will be the first time that Trylowsky’s collection will be displayed in public.

      Tony Grylla photographed a famous series of photographs of John Lennon and Yoko Ono promoting peace while sitting in bed.
      © Yoko Ono

      Yoko Ono: Growing Freedom

      (Vancouver Art Gallery, October 9 to May 1, 2022)

      This show features two parts. “The instructions of Yoko Ono” delves into Ono’s artistic process, reflecting her radical and unconventional approach.

      “Exhibited works include instructional pieces that require the visitor to complete the work, through actions such as mending broken china (MEND PIECE, 1966), hammering nails into canvas (PAINTING TO HAMMER A NAIL, 1966) and writing their feelings toward their mothers on a sticky note and attaching it to the gallery wall (MY MOMMY IS BEAUTIFUL, 1997),” the VAG website states.

      The second part of the exhibition, “The art of John and Yoko”, highlights Ono and her deceased husband John Lennon’s collaborative art projects aimed at promoting peace.

      Jean Sebastien Baciu

      Imagine Picasso

      (Vancouver Convention Centre East, begins on October 27)

      This immersive exhibition of more than 200 of the Spanish artist’s paintings was created by Annabelle Mauger and Julien Baron. This was done in collaboration with art historian Androula Michael and architect Rudy Ricciotti, who created nine origami-style structures upon which paintings are projected. The digital works enable people to explore the details of Picasso’s paintings.

      Sankofa figure, maker unrecorded (Asante). MOA Collection K2.368.
      Skooker Broome, courtesy of Museum of Anthropology at UBC

      Sankofa: African Routes, Canadian Roots

      (Museum of Anthropology, November 4 to March 27, 2022)

      Curated by Nya Lewis, Nuno Porto, and Titilope Salami, this exhibition makes connections between contemporary Black Canadians and the history of Black people and their paths of political mobilization and cultural expression.

      The word Sankofa is derived from the Ghanaian Akan language, according to the MOA website, and expresses "the idea of moving forward while reaching back to connect to one's heritage". 

      “Centered on works by contemporary artists from Lagos, Nigeria, and Vancouver, in conversation with objects in MOA’s permanent collection, this exhibition shares stories, histories and projects of African and Black affirmation,” the website states.