Shore, Forest and Beyond: Art from the Audain Collection reveals for the first time one of the most important private art collections in Canada, a stunning group of works assembled over the past 25 years by Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa. Generously loaned to the Vancouver Art Gallery
for this special exhibition, the Audains collection features a vast array of art from exceptional 19th century masks by First Nations artists, to an outstanding set of paintings by Emily Carr that span the entire length of her career, to contemporary works by internationally renowned Vancouver-based artists Jeff Wall, Rodney Graham, Ian Wallace and others.
The role of private collectors in the art world has always been essential to both artists and museums. Private collections are formed in a variety of ways, yet some achieve particular distinction for their depth, breadth and quality. Shore, Forest and Beyond shows the enormous role the Audains have played and continue to play in supporting the arts in British Columbia and Canada.
Beyond their own passion for collecting, the Audains have been important benefactors to the cultural life of this country and are unique in the sheer depth and breadth of their philanthropy,said director of the Vancouver Art Gallery Kathleen Bartels , The Vancouver Art Gallery is extremely honoured to present the first public exhibition of their truly remarkable collection, one that is so firmly rooted in the visual history and contemporary art practices of this province.
As shown in Shore, Forest and Beyond, the Audains have created a collection that allows a particularly rich history of the art of British Columbia to be told. Beginning with the powerful ceremonial objects of the First Nations peoples, this exhibition traces the important strands of artistic production in the province right up to the present day. The co-curators have selected some 170 works from the Audains personal collection, as well as past works they have donated for the Vancouver Art Gallery s permanent collection. The exhibition features their particularly strong collection of the work of British Columbia s most distinguished painter, Emily Carr, while presenting work by other prominent Canadian Modernists, including Lawren Harris, Frederick Horsman Varley and B.C. Binning.
The Audains collection of historical west coast indigenous art is complemented by a significant group of contemporary First Nations works, a number of which have been newly commissioned. The photo-based art of the region has also received their careful attention, and they have been generous donors of works by Jeff Wall and Scott McFarland to the Vancouver Art Gallery . Finally, the exhibition includes another major area of focus Mexican Modernism representing the most significant collection of this art in Canada , with works by Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siquieros and Rufino Tamayo. The works presented in the exhibition provide an overview of the collections dimension and strength.
Michael Audain has said that living with art has been one of the great joys of my life. These works attest to the wide range of his interests and deep commitment to the province and its history.
Shore, Forest and Beyond: Art from the Audain Collection is organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery and curated by Ian Thom, senior curator, historical and Grant Arnold, the Audain Curator for British Columbia Art. It is generously supported by Presenting Sponsor: Scotiabank.