Touring exhibition at KAG aims to unhinge viewers

The Kelowna Art Gallery hosts Unreal, an exhibition drawn from the holdings of the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Jock Macdonald

Jock Macdonald

The Kelowna Art Gallery is pleased to be a venue for the tour of Unreal, an exhibition drawn from the holdings of the Vancouver Art Gallery.

The exhibition contains work by 28 artists. About half of these are contemporary Canadians, while others worked in the last century, some in Canada and some abroad.

The theme of the unreal refers to areas of thought and experience beyond the everyday. Of course the zone of the fantastic contains both utopian and dystopian realms, and both are explored in this exhibition. The works are actually grouped by sub-theme: The Unconscious, The Haunted, The Absurd, and The Disassembled.

Pieces range in medium from oil paintings to mixed-media works on paper, through to printmaking and three-dimensional sculptures. The earliest works of art in the show are from the 1940s and are automatic surrealist works in ink and watercolour done by the Canadian artist Jock Macdonald (1897-1960).

Some of the artists included have never been on exhibition in Kelowna before, for example, Francis Bacon (1909-1992), the Irish-born painter famed for his screaming papal heads. Another is the American photography-based artist Cindy Sherman, famous for work in which she dressed and posed as women in old master paintings, or from the Hollywood cinema.

An opening reception to celebrate this exhibition will be held on Friday, Jan. 10, from 7 to 9 p.m., at the Kelowna Art Gallery. This is a free event, open to members and guests, by invitation. An exhibition tour will be offered at 7 p.m. by Stephanie Rebick, assistant curator with the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Unreal is organized and circulated by Daina Augaitis, chief curator/associate director of the Vancouver Art Gallery, with the generous support of the Killy Foundation. Unreal will be on view at the Kelowna Art Gallery from Jan. 11 to March 9, 2014.

The Kelowna Art Gallery is located at 1315 Water St. in downtown Kelowna. For more information about current exhibitions, public programming or special events, please visit the Kelowna Art Gallery online at


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