"New director Nigel Price puts stamp on downtown space, handing out magnifying glasses and introducing a 1960s pop-artist nun
By Robin Laurence, September 14, 2011Thomas Bewick: Tale-pieces
Corita Kent: To Create is to Relate
At the Contemporary Art Gallery until October 30"
"Clearly, Prince believes that Bewick’s tiny wood engravings continue to resonate in the 21st century. They speak, he suggests, to our relationship with our natural environment, our treatment of animals, our human frailties—and our mortality. Designed as tailpieces to fill spaces between paragraphs and chapters in the natural-history books that he was acclaimed for illustrating, Bewick’s prints depict peaceful scenes of pastoral life, but also register his keen sense of justice and psychological nuance.
The 100-plus Bewick works, two to a framed page, are best viewed with a magnifying glass (available in the annex) to fully reveal their exquisitely executed observations of life. There are charming vignettes here of fishing, farming, and ships at anchor; there are also hanged men, suicides, and children torturing animals. A cruel man beats his starving horse, a glutton pukes up his dinner, and a toddler wanders, alone and in peril, while her nursemaid canoodles with some guy in the bushes.
Linking the Bewicks thematically to the Corita Kent show are a commitment to social justice and a desire to make art widely accessible to the public. Born Frances Kent in Iowa in 1918, the artist took the name Sister Mary Corita when she joined the Order of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Los Angeles in 1936. As artist, teacher, and activist, she gave community-based screen-printing workshops at the order’s art centre while also producing a large body of her own emphatic work. Eventually, she left the order, moved to Boston, and made art under the single moniker Corita."
Full text here : http://www.straight.com/article-457956/vancouver/wood-and-silkscreens-herald-cags-40th