Our Exhibits

The Vancouver Art Gallery presents exhibitions of work by artists ranging from historic masters to leading-edge contemporaries. These include major thematic exhibitions, presentations of solo artists and smaller, more focused showcases. In a typical year, 2 to 3 exhibitions are borrowed from other institutions and 10 to 12 exhibitions are developed in-house, drawing on our permanent collection and loans of works from around the world. In addition, the Gallery tours a few of its exhibitions each year.

Touring Exhibitions

Across the Province

made possible with the generous support of the Killy Foundation

Across the Province is the Vancouver Art Gallery’s provincial touring program, which circulates exhibitions drawn from the Gallery’s permanent collection to partner institutions throughout British Columbia. Partners include: Art Gallery of Greater Victoria; Evergreen Cultural Centre, Coquitlam; Kamloops Art Gallery; Kelowna Art Gallery; Surrey Art Gallery; The Reach Gallery Museum, Abbotsford; Two Rivers Gallery, Prince George; and Nanaimo Art Gallery.

Edward Burtynsky
Markarfljót River #1,
Erosion Control, Iceland
, 2012
chromogenic print
Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Gift of the Artist
© Edward Burtynsky, Courtesy Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto/Paul Kuhn Gallery, Calgary

Emily Carr
Scorned as Timber, Beloved of the Sky, 1931
oil on canvas
Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Emily Carr Trust

A Terrible Beauty: Edward Burtynsky in Dialogue with Emily Carr

Toronto-based photographer Edward Burtynsky is internationally renowned for his captivating images of natural and man-made landscapes that reflect both the impressive reach of human enterprise and the extraordinary impact of our hubris. A Terrible Beauty: Edward Burtynsky in Dialogue with Emily Carr presents a selection of photographs Burtynsky produced between 1983 and 2013 that together represent all his major bodies of work, from his early series of homestead photographs shot in British Columbia in the early 1980s, to his new, groundbreaking project that explores water's fundamental place in the world ecology.

These photographs are presented in dialogue with a smaller selection of paintings and drawings by Emily Carr, an artist who also observed the impact of human industry on the natural world in some of her best-known works. Carr was painting in British Columbia in the early twentieth century, a time when industrialized agriculture, resource extraction and practices such as large-scale logging were on the rise. Though working in different media and over fifty years apart, both artists sought to record the changing landscape and our place in it.

Kamloops Art Gallery
October 18 – December 31, 2014

Kelowna Art Gallery
January 10 – March 1, 2015

Nanaimo Museum, in partnership with the Nanaimo Art Gallery
September 5 – November 21, 2015

The Reach Gallery Museum, Abbotsford
January 21 – April 10, 2016

Organized and circulated by the Vancouver Art Gallery and curated by Bruce Grenville, Senior Curator.

Harold Edgerton
Bullet Through King, 1964
chromogenic print
Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Gift of Angela and David Feldman, the Menkes Family, Marc and Alex Muzzo, Tory Ross, the Rose Baum-Sommerman Family, Shabin and Nadir Mohamed
© 2015 MIT, Courtesy of MIT Museum

Out of Sight

Out of Sight features a selection of photographs, recently acquired by the Vancouver Art Gallery, by Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904) and Harold Edgerton (1903-1990). Both artists are celebrated for their revolutionary works that expand our understanding of time and motion and extend the capacity of human perception by making time stand still.

While time can be measured and evaluated, it also has a profound subjective dimension; how the passage of time is understood and felt is the product of individual experience, making its perception fluid, malleable and subject to interpretation. Both of these artists continually mined this rich terrain—how time can be represented and perceived—by manipulating and distorting the ways in which time functions to challenge our accepted views and preconceived notions.

The photographs of Muybridge and Edgerton depict slices of time—frozen moments—to approach the problem of representing that which cannot be seen. In their scientific experiments they exploited the promise of the photographic medium to act as a definitive record of an action or event, essentially stopping time to depict the mechanical truth of movement. Brought together, these bodies of work explore ideas about perception and representation, challenging viewers to reconsider what we see in our everyday encounters.

Kamloops Art Gallery
January 16 – March 18, 2016

Nanaimo Art Gallery
September 10 – November 5, 2016

Surrey Art Gallery
January 21 – March 19, 2017

Organized and circulated by the Vancouver Art Gallery with the generous support of the Killy Foundation and curated by Stephanie Rebick.


The Vancouver Art Gallery presents approximately 15 temporary exhibitions annually, from which it selects major in-house curated exhibitions to travel to museums and galleries across Canada and around the world.

Frederick Verner
Muskoka River, South Branch, 1875
oil on canvas
Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery
Gift of Dr. Rodrigo Restrepo
Photo: Trevor Mills, Vancouver Art Gallery

Embracing Canada: Landscapes from Krieghoff to the Group of Seven

For over a century the natural world and our relationship to it was a major subject for Canadian artists. Through paintings in the 1800s by Cornelius Krieghoff, Zacharie Vincent and others, Embracing Canada begins with early depictions of Indigenous peoples. European settlers in the Canadian landscape are also depicted by the artists such as Charlotte Schreiber and Homer Watson, who are associated with the founding of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 1880, as well as the artists associated with the expanding Canadian Pacific Railway including Frederick M. Bell-Smith. As the exhibition progresses, artists' paintings of Canada shift toward the landscape itself rather than human activity within it, as demonstrated by extraordinary works by Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven. They and other figures such as Emily Carr, David Milne and Jock Macdonald, who begin to define a unique modern Canadian style.

Drawing on the collections of the Vancouver Art Gallery and a remarkable loan from an important private collection, Embracing Canada surveys the history of artistic engagement with the Canadian landscape from c. 1840 to 1940, a period that produced many outstanding Canadian artists.

Glenbow Museum, Calgary
February 20 – May 29, 2016

Art Gallery of Hamilton
June 17 – September 25, 2016

Organized and circulated by the Vancouver Art Gallery and curated by Ian Thom, Senior Curator-Historical.

To learn more about our available touring exhibitions, please contact curatorial@vanartgallery.bc.ca