Friday, May 21, 2010

"Aint Painting a Pain" - Richard Jackson

Yesterday I attended a tour of the Rennie Collection in the Wing Sang Building in Gastown, Vancouver. Bob Rennie owns the third largest collection of contemporary art in Canada, so it's great that he's sharing it with us. The exhibition on display was full of fun and colourful surprises.

One thing the tour guide pointed out was that Jackson didn't want people to read too much into the work. The concept for the bears peeing in urinals came about when Jackson noticed that urinals look like bear heads. (Some of the urinals are bear heads, and some of the bear heads are urinals.) When they were at the MoMA real paint was squirting from the champagne bottle shaped bear penises.

The works vary greatly but all have the common theme of paint. And not in the traditional sense, but in an experimental way that shows the tactility and velocity of paint. He uses different methods of letting paint drip into place on sculptures, smear onto walls and funnel through various contraptions to make organic yet strategically placed pools of paint.

He also painted a massive canvas with BB gun pointillism, and piled 1000 canvases on top of each other with paint gluing them together. (See image below of "Big Ideas - 1,000 Pictures"). The later seems to be a message about the repetition of artists painting the same thing over and over on canvases. Not something Jackson practices. The round colourful paint smudges are directly on the walls, and will probably be destroyed when the exhibition is over. But that's okay with Jackson because it's "about the process" explained the tour guide.

The roof top patio is great. I can picture a great cocktail party with art aficionados, eccentrics with orange suits and plenty of gin martinis.  I also liked Thomas Houseago's sculpture ('Untitled Striding Figure' below) and the wavy psychedelic glass wall by Dan Graham overlooking China Town. The last photo isn't a double exposure but a weird reflection from Graham's structure.



  1. Great blog, Allison! Amazing. Just incredibly well written and put together. Very interesting. Im following it!