A Modern Gillie Adventure
Things to See in Vancouver
This summer I am staycationing in Vancouver. I have lived here 17 years and there are some awesome things to see and place to that I have yet to experience. A couple of weeks ago I explored the Queen Elizabeth Park (Places to See in Vancouver – Queen Elizabeth Park)
I have enjoyed Monet’s work since I was first introduced to it in Grade 5. Living a few miles north of Chicago I was very fortunate to visit Chicago’s Art Institute often. I saw the Monet exhibits they hosted. I also saw a lot of his work in the many museums in Paris. When I was looking for places to go that I haven’t seen yet I was excited to see that the Vancouver Art Gallery is hosting a Monet exhibit: Claude Monet’s Secret Garden. For my next staycation adventure, I chose to visit the Vancouver Art Gallery.
I picked a gray day to visit the Vancouver Art Gallery.
The gallery is located on Robson Square right downtown. You can see one of the many food trucks that ply their trade in the city. Admission is $24 CND.
The entrance to the gallery is a bit inauspicious, opportunities to buy things and art but no art to see while standing in line. I began to doubt that this would be good. The Vancouver Art Gallery is the fifth largest gallery in Canada. (Link to the VAG) A Monet exhibit probably requires a huge budget. Could the VAG have a good exhibit?
The Vancouver Art Gallery is the fifth largest Gallery in Canada.
I have to say that they managed a pretty good show. A lot of the paintings were unsigned and/or unfinished. This has become fashionable for Monet shows because he had so many unfinished and unsigned canvases stored when he died. I suspect it’s a way for smaller venues to host an affordable exhibit.
I am always uncomfortable with this. The first time I saw this was the Monet “series” exhibit at the Art Institute where they showed the canvases Monet painted of the same subject in multiple different lights. As an artist, I know how much I, and my fellow artists, agonize about when a piece is done. Monet was well known for reworking pieces obsessively before he considered them done. Seeing these unfinished pieces makes me feel that he would not be happy that they were being displayed.
From another perspective, seeing these unfinished, sometimes barely begun, pieces is a fascinating view of the way Monet worked and how he developed the paintings.
The VAG Secret Garden Exhibit was very enjoyable. They had a few very well known paintings; some water lilies, Charing Cross station with a steam engine, and The British Houses of Parliament. There were many unfinished pieces. Several were subjects I had never seen before. I only took a few photos because it is something you should see for yourself. Check out when one of the exhibits put together by the Muse Marmoten Monet will be near you. Muse Maroten Monet owns much of Monet’s work, finished and unfinished. It is a valuable and beautiful experience. You get a taste of the rebellion these Impressionists undertook against the accepted style of the time.
Dutifully I check out the other exhibits. There was a very interesting installation by two Canadian artists with lots of blown glass and lab glassware that appealed to me. There were several large pieces on light boxes which bring a new dimension to the images and the feel of the presentation.
The top floor of the gallery has an Emily Carr exhibit. It is fairly extensive and I dutifully had a look. I do not enjoy Emily Carr’s work at all. I was hoping there might have been something to appreciate but I couldn’t find it. If you do enjoy her work, however, this is an exhibit worth visiting.
All in all, I think the Vancouver Art Gallery and Claude Monet’s Secret Garden were well worth $24. I will be happy to go back with my oldest son when he returns from his architecture course in Bali. He will enjoy it too.