The private collection of Vancouver-based arts patrons Michael and Inna O’Brian is the focus of this first collaborative exhibition by the four partner institutions at Satellite Gallery. Cindy Sherman meets Dzunuk’wa is a rare opportunity for the public to see selected highlights from the collection, including works by such key Canadian and international artists as Brian Jungen, Ann Kipling, Mary Pratt, Jean-Paul Riopelle, Victor Vasarely, and Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun.
Formed over a period of 25 years, the O’Brian collection is both eclectic and unpredictable in its breadth and range of media, from paintings and sculptures to ceremonial regalia and conceptual photography. It emphasizes regional art from the postwar era to the present day, revealing the collectors’ special interest in local and emerging artists, many of whom have become personal friends. “My passion for the visual arts is not just about owning and collecting art,” says Michael O’Brian; “The work must create within me a desire to feel and understand what was in the artist’s mind at the time of its creation.”
Taking an experimental approach to the exhibition, the curators—Karen Duffek (Museum of Anthropology, UBC), Helga Pakasaar (Presentation House Gallery), Cate Rimmer (Charles H. Scott Gallery, Emily Carr University), and Keith Wallace (Morris and Helen Belkin Gallery, UBC)—have avoided chronological and thematic categories by placing the diverse works into unexpected juxtapositions. Just as New York artist Cindy Sherman’s untitled portrait of vanity and the grotesque comes face to face with Kwakwaka’wakw artist Beau Dick’s mask of Dzunuk’wa, the Giant of the Woods, artworks in the exhibition are presented as a series of conversations, from intimate to confrontational.
“We have each brought different perspectives into the process of assembling the exhibit,” says Duffek, “and want to honour the vision of the Michael O’Brian Family Foundation, which founded Satellite Gallery as a space for new and temporary projects, collaborations, and experiments in the arts.”
A review of the exhibition can be found here.