Wednesday, September 30, 2009

"Canary" by James Whitman - FRESH PICK Volume 1 Edition 24

The wild bird, endemic to Macaronesia, is gregarious and builds cup-shaped nests while often fiercely defending it's territory. It feasts in flocks while foraging on the ground, and cannot survive without gravity. James Whitman's "Canary" is a wild bird of a different feather.

"Canary" comes from the figures and creatures in the artists "Some Kings" series. Whitman tells us the 'kings' are caricatured alien or ‘other’ subjects generated from a formal play with the construction of face, countenance, and the kinds of social space these can generate. They are purposely deadpan and low affect. They acknowledge us and present themselves, but they don’t elicit our attention or social engagement, and beyond holding our eye, they make no social display. As with wild animals, we don’t share their society and they are indifferent to us.

The kings’ social world, social relations, the state of the land they inhabit and its economics have been bracketed off, left open. We are not presented with the depiction of an imaginary or allegorical society and its functions and relations, but with difference, with our world become different. The point isn’t so much the specifics of that difference, but to depict the absence of our society, the world without our administration. These drawings both depict a certain semi-developed state of the not-wilderness of British Columbia, and shift this familiar mundane land of overgrown logging roads, abandoned fridges, and ten year old spruce over into a fantasy of an unpeopled world. They imagine a world that exists quite sufficiently without any of the very particular forms of meaning peculiar to our species. A world without our presence as witnesses.

James Whitman has an honours BFA from UVic 1998 and is currently represented by the LES Gallery in Vancouver. He is artist, curator, collaborator and has sat on board of the Vancouver Access Artist Run Centre and the ‘536’ curatorial society “with a focus on exhibitions in unusual situations”. He has completed residencies in Leipzig Germany and Dawson City, Yukon. He is a member of the Vancouver-based drawing collective Lions Pile. You can find more work by the artist at LES Gallery, Outbuildings and Livestock and Lions Pile.

Buy "Canary" now from $45+!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"Sweet Smell of Success" by Matthew Sweig - FRESH PICK Volume 1 Edition 23

Welcome to "The Sweet Smell of Success". This series is a fragmented self-portrait made up of the little physical evidence of the artist’s ancestral past. Further to past works dealing with urban debris and the memory of objects, this work strives to illustrate the many ways in which one views themselves. The people are distant maternal relatives captured from old photographs. The screen printed pattern is extracted from monetary notes from Czar ruled Poland from the early twentieth century where Sweig’s paternal family was at the time the photographs were taken in Canada.

Matthew Sweig is educated in the field of Landscape Architecture and practices in Toronto, Canada. Gary Michael Dault of the Globe and Mail’s review of Sweig’s “Reconstruction of a Demolition” exhibit from 2005 could equally describe this piece. “A glance at the picture reproduced here - or even a prolonged study of it - will probably not serve to identify it as a painting rather than a photograph. But a painting it assuredly is, a vastly labour-intensive, black-and-white acrylic on canvas...” More information on the artist’s original works can be found at He is represented by the XEXE Gallery in Toronto,

Buy "The Sweet Smell of Success I" now from $45+!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

PAUL BUTLER EXHIBITION-IN-PRINT - Artists to be published

The artists who responded to our open call for submission, and who have been selected for publication in our Paul Butler exhibition-in-print project are now announced. The full press release and list of artists can be found on our website. Thank you for "Submitting to Paul Butler"!

Full press release can be found here:

Please find below the list of artists whose work was selected for publication in the upcoming Exhibition-in-print book curated by Paul Butler. The full list to be published in at the end of this message and includes 40+ individuals. We would like to stress that in keeping with the process outlined, Paul blind-juried the work of all submitting artists. Further to the open submissions, Paul was invited to ask a small number of artists to contribute along with his own work. These artists also paid a submission fee. 
The quality of the submissions were high and came in from all corners of the globe making the final decision of what works to publish difficult. The selections were made very carefully based on the best fit with our curatorial theme and guided by the critical essays to be published with the artwork.


Artists in “Lateral Learning” featuring Paul Butler, Mark Clintberg and Dr. Jeanne Randolph with: Amarie Bergman, Lisa Birke, Melissa Brown, Lydia Burggraaf, John Campbell, Robert Caspary, Lucia Cipriano, Jennifer Delos Reyes, Rebecca Donald, Christopher Donnelly, Aganetha Dyck, Richard Dyck, Sarah Fuller, Julie Gendron, Lori Gordon, Sheila Heti, Robin Lambert, Marissa Largo, Henry Mah, Ashley Neese, Christian Nicolay, Jennifer O'Leary, Richard Palanuk, Mitzi Pederson, Perry Rath, Kerri Reid, Scott Rogers, Jesse Sherburne, Julia Sherman, Jonny Silver, Eric Steen, Derek Sullivan, Aislinn Thomas, Julie Thomson, Margaux Williamson, Sascha Yamashita, Weakhand , The Make It Collective (Gabe Baribeau, Ian Fitzgerald, Rachel Fleming, Aimee Burnett, Sean Walsh, Todd Guthrie, Pat Bodnar, Meghan Hunter, Nick Edwards, Emily Vesigny, Emily Rayner and Bailey Holmes), The 26 Collective (Melanie Rocan, Cyrus Smith, David Wityk, Fred Thomas, Shaun Morin, Ian August, Michael Topf), The Reverse Pedagogy Team (Venice 2009). All artist submissions were blind-juried based on an international open call.

V.A.P. is committed to offering inclusive opportunities for artists. As a part of our programming, V.A.P. provides open call, blind juried opportunities for artists via exhibitions and art publications.