Contemporary Art Gallery Auction

Against Nature, 24th Annual Gala Dinner and Art Auction
Saturday November 3, 6.30 pm
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October 23rd, 2012

The Contemporary Art Gallery has been an important presence in Vancouver’s art community since its inception in 1971. We’ve consistently enjoyed its excellent programming that has boasted solo exhibitions by internationally acclaimed artists including Stan Douglas, Hans-Peter Feldmann and Tim Gardner, as well as thoughtfully-curated and dialogue-provoking group shows. On Saturday November 3, the CAG will present Against Nature its 24th Annual Gala Dinner and Art Auction at the elegant Rosewood Hotel Georgia. Taking inspiration from a 1884 novel of the same name (À rebours) by Joris-Karl Huysmans whose central character retreats into an ideal inner artistic world of his own imagining, the gala event will embrace the decadence for which the text is acclaimed. The CAG auction will feature a diverse range of works – from a set of three exquisite engravings by 18th century artist Thomas Bewick to a recent print by Douglas Coupland which riffs off the iconic imagery of the Great Canadian North by Lawren Harris – and includes amazing finds by emerging artists as well as the covetable work of international art stars. Amongst the more than 40 auction items are works with estimated values from $150 to $25,000, offering selections for every level of collector. Here are a few highlights we would love to add to our personal collections – works you should definitely consider for yours:

Nicole Ondre, Untitled, 2012

Nicole Ondre
Untitled, 2012
oil and graphite monoprint on tissue paper
36 x 24 inches
Courtesy of the Artist
Estimated Value: $1,000

Nicole Ondre graduated from Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 2010 and was recently awarded the inaugural Emerging Artist’s Prize from the Contemporary Art Society of Vancouver. Her work, which often blurs the boundaries between medium and support, has been receiving much buzz recently in curatorial circles. Ondre is best known for her delicate abstractions which reveal the process of their making – applying paint directly onto the wall itself, she uses the media to adhere the paper to the wall creating a hybrid between a painting and an installation which unites the painted surface with its support. The subtle pattern of the Untitled unique work on paper is a direct and painterly impression of the artist’s brush as well as the weight of her hand and the grain of the wall, a result of the frottage process she employs. Ondre’s work has been included in exhibitions at Access Gallery, CSA Space, Helen Pitt Gallery and The Commons and she is co-Director of Exercise, an independent project space in Vancouver.

Elizabeth Zvonar, THE INTERNET, 2007

Elizabeth Zvonar
digital lightjet print of a handcut collage
14.5 x 20 inches
Courtesy of the Artist
Estimated Value: $1,250

Elizabeth Zvonar’s multi-disciplinary practice which includes performances, interventions, installations, collages, sculptures and text-based works explores metaphysics while drawing from a diverse range of references from pop culture to historical events. In THE INTERNET, she alludes to the plethora of easily accessible imagery readily available on-line. Zvonar combines pictures in hand-cut collages which she scans and converts into digital prints. By recontextualizing familiar images – a wooded landscape, kittens, and a couple in the throes of passion – Zvonar complicates their readings and hints at the layered, multi-faceted nature of representation and reality. By scanning and juxtaposing disparate subject matter, she distorts the familiar until it appears strange, inevitably provoking contemplation. Solo exhibitions of Zvonar’s work have included those at Access Gallery, the Western Gallery and the Contemporary Art Gallery and her work is in the permanent collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Marcel Dzama, MOTHERHOOD, 2011

Marcel Dzama
collage with ink, paper, pen and watercolour
9 x 12 inches
Courtesy of the artist and David Zwirner, New York
Estimated value: $5,000

Marcel’s Dzama is internationally renowned for his drawings which are populated by a fantastical cast of bizarre characters which are both innocent and savage, human and animal – and sometimes something in between. He draws upon a wide range of references – literature, pop culture, art history – to create otherworldly scenes that often juxtapose oddly incongruous elements resulting in narratives that are dark, absurd and hilarious. MOTHERHOOD features a ghostly figure wearing a high-collared red and white striped dress – the haunting figure sits with its ankles demurely crossed and is strangely at odds with its lady-like dress. Dzama’s work has been presented in solo exhibitions internationally including at the Ikon Gallery, Pinakothek der Moderne, and Musée d’art Contemporain de Montréal, and his work is in numerous prominent public collections including the Centre Pompidou, Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Modern Art.

Kevin Schmidt, Small Waves, Cold Water (Studies), 2003

Kevin Schmidt
Small Waves, Cold Water (Studies), 2003
watercolour on paper
11 x 15 inches each
Courtesy of the Artist and Catriona Jeffries Gallery, Vancouver
Estimated value: $8,000

Kevin Schmidt’s photography, videos and installations investigate the sublime and spectacular, while referring to the tradition of landscape painting. Small Waves, Cold Water (Studies) is a suite of four delicately rendered watercolours depicting people interacting with the outdoors – a parking lot with a camper van, a woman struggling with her wetsuit and people carrying a surfboard. Created relatively early in Schmidt’s practice, these works prefigure Schmidt’s continued investigation into the way we interact with nature as well as the conditions under which we view it, often questioning the divide between the real and the artificial. Schmidt’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Presentation House Gallery, Musée d’art Contemporain de Montréal, Justina M. Barnicke Gallery and Bielefelder Kunstverein. His work is in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada and the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Steven Shearer, Poem VI (Vertical Mural), 2012

Steven Shearer
Poem VI (Vertical Mural), 2012
mural painting (acrylic on wall)
138 x 100 inches (dimensions adaptable below this dimension)
Courtesy of the Artist and Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich, Galleria Franco Noero, Torino, Stuart Shave/Modern Art Inc., London, Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York
Estimated value: $25,000 CDN

Poem VI (Vertical Mural) was created especially for the Contemporary Art Gallery’s auction and is a rare opportunity to acquire one of Steven Shearer’s Poem works which have completely sold out internationally. The formally austere text of Poem VI (Vertical Mural) is at odds with its dramatic subject matter which relates to death-metal song titles that have been quoted, re-worked or invented by the artist containing references to sex, death and violence, the traditional terrain of this genre of music. The repetition of this nihilistic, base content creates a strange kind of transcendence similar to the effect of death-metal music – a baroque sublime. The winner of this unique work will receive a certificate of authenticity as well as a digital file which will allow its owner to create the wall mural to any scale smaller than 138 x 100 inches. In addition, the purchaser will also receive a framed archival print of the piece. Shearer has an impressive international exhibition history including solo exhibitions at Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham and Power Plant, Toronto and an upcoming solo presentation at the National Gallery of Canada in 2013. He was also Canada’s representative at the 54th Venice Biennale.

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