Art

Lord of the brush.

J. R. R. Tolkien’s malevolent dragon Smaug is just one of hundreds of iconic Tolkien characters and mythical landscapes brought to life by visionary illustrator and conceptual artist John Howe.

A Vancouver Biennale installation.

More than 1,000 years ago, the Chinese poet Bai Juyi of the Tang Dynasty wrote his famous piece Grass. This poem aptly presents the metaphor used in Ai Weiwei’s new installation of a similar title, located in Harbour Green Park, Vancouver.

Magical thinking.

Becoming an artist was never a question for Bobbie Burgers. Over her 20 year career, Burgers has captured the beauty of flowers and natural landscapes in her expressive paintings.

Dalí-ance.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: To see your world through an artist’s eyes, to participate in the act of creation, or in Barthesian terms, to create a writerly work of art, rather than to simply and passively see the artist’s world through your eyes; that is the ultimate goal of retracing the artist’s steps.

Free Speech Pendant.

Ai Weiwei is the most recent artist to create an exclusive artwork for the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Artist Edition program, in conjunction with Unscrolled: Reframing Tradition in Chinese Contemporary Art, on display until April 2015.

Dying on a prayer.

“I have never once been able to escape the fear of death. With no religion to comfort me, no breathing methods to steady my heart, will I be able to face my fate? I am not yet prepared.”

Long-distance relationship.

Ai Weiwei makes art. His own government has barred him from leaving China, and so, for the artist and activist, architect and anomaly, the show must go on—without him.

Photographing history.

Beneath the farm houses in the tranquil French countryside exists a forgotten city—rooms and passages of narrow and twisting quarries where the stone is soft enough to carve with basic tools. These spaces were battlefield refuge for First World War soldiers and became home to countless sculptures, carvings, and artifacts as well.