Burnaby Art Gallery: New Exhibition by Alex Morrison Explores West Coast Architectural Styles

Alex Morrison: Phantoms of a Utopian Will / Like Most Follies, More Than a Joke and More Than a Whim

September 4 – November 8, 2015


Alex Morrison, Raised on Mouldy Bread, 2015, digital rendering, inkjet on Epson hot press bright paper, image courtesy of artist.

The Burnaby Art Gallery (BAG), in collaboration with SFU Art Gallery, is pleased to present Alex Morrison: Phantoms of a Utopian Will / Like Most Follies, More Than a Joke and More Than a Whim. The exhibition takes place from September 4 to November 8 at the BAG and from September 5 to December 11 at the SFU Art Gallery. The public is invited to the opening reception on Thursday, September 3 from 7-9pm at the Burnaby Art Gallery. An artist talk and free bus tour from Vancouver to SFU and Burnaby art galleries is also scheduled for Saturday, September 5 from 12-2pm, leaving from Vancouver’s SFU Audain Gallery at noon.

These tandem exhibitions present the work of Canadian artist Alex Morrison and include two newly commissioned projects, as well as works selected by the artist from the institutions’ collections. Morrison’s practice investigates built environments and their often counter-cultural inhabitation. His analysis of architectural styles, the historical context of their construction and the evolution of their use over time, informs his research on the two sites of SFU Gallery and the BAG. In doing so, Morrison troubles not only historical and social narratives, but also the aesthetics of cultural identification.

Through his exhibitions at SFU and the BAG, Morrison considers how the West Coast’s iteration of the Arts and Crafts movement, as well as Arthur Erickson’s brand of domestic

post-modernism, eventually became fashionable and now survive as the ‘house styles’ on the West Coast. At the BAG, Morrison has worked closely with ceramics artist Maggie Boyd in creating a series of decorative earthenware plates which form part of a larger installation of sculptural furniture modeled after famous Arts and Crafts designs. Morrison has also been commissioned by the BAG to design a chandelier which will be permanently installed in the gallery’s Fireside Room.

Alex Morrison (1972) was born in Redruth, UK and cur­rently lives and works in Brussels, Belgium. He recently exhibited his work in My House is my World at the Kölnischer Kunstverein (Köln, Germany, 2012). His work was included in Melan­chotopia at the Witte de With, Rot­ter­dam (2012), Catri­ona Jef­fries, Van­cou­ver (2012), Art­s­peak, Van­cou­ver (2010); Every

Let­ter in the Alpha­bet, Van­cou­ver (2010); and CSA Space, Van­cou­ver (2009). His work was also included in the 2010 Syd­ney Bien­nial; and in It Is What It Is, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (2010); Fol­low­ing a Line, Con­tem­po­rary Art Gallery, Van­cou­ver (2010); Cubes, Blocks and Other Spaces, Musée d’art con­tem­po­rain de Mon­tréal, (2009); Get­ting Even, Kun­stverein

Han­nover(2009); and eXpo­nen­tial Future, Mor­ris and Helen Belkin Gallery, Van­cou­ver (2008).


Opening Reception: Thursday, September 3, 7-9pm

Join us for the opening reception at the Burnaby Art Gallery. The evening will feature opening remarks, followed by a reception in our Fireside Room.

Artist Talk and Bus Tour: Saturday, September 5, 12noon – 2pm

Free bus trip from Vancouver to SFU and Burnaby Art Galleries, leaving from SFU Audain gallery, Vancouver at 12noon. Pre-registration required, please book at sfugallery@sfu.ca.

In the B.A.G. Family Sundays: Sunday, September 13, 1-4pm; Sunday, October 11, 1-4pm

Join us for an interactive experience that combines the current gallery exhibit with a free, hands-on studio activity. No registration required. All ages. Free.

Drop-In Art Gallery Tours: Mandarin and English Speaking Guides

Saturday, October 24, 2-4pm

Join our knowledgeable guides for a tour of the current exhibit. Tours begin at 2, 2:30, 3 and 3:30pm. All ages. Free.


Lil’ ART-chitects: September 12 – October 3

9:30-10:30am (4-6 years); 11am-12noon (4-6 years); 1-2:30pm (6-9 years)

With a focus on drawing, collage and sculpture, students learn about shapes, patterns, repetition and design found in homes, buildings and spaces all around them to create their very own abstract art. Young artists are inspired by the gallery’s newest exhibition by Alex Morrison. $33.96 (4-6 years); $46.10 (6-9 years). Call 604-297-4422 to register.

Art Quick Takes: Sunday, October 4, 2-4pm

Inexpensive, fun and no commitment! Projects are structured to develop your confidence and take away the pressure to be a ‘good artist.’ Begin by learning about the artwork on exhibit, and then dive into a new medium or process. Boost your creative side and come away with an artwork you are proud of. Studio: Graphite, vellum and architectural drawing. 16+ years, $10. Call 604-297-4422 to register.

Gallery Tour & Workshop for Homelearners: Wednesday, October 28, 12:30-2:30pm

Explore the artwork on exhibit through conversation and interactive activities, and then create art in the studio to bring key ideas or techniques to life. This is an opportunity to register individually and try out the programs we do for school groups! Addresses BC Visual Arts curriculum. Studio: Collaborative City Building. 6-14 years old, $16. Call 604-297-4422 to register.

Full Day Art Studio for Homelearners: Friday, October 30, 9:30am-2:30pm

A full day immersion in visual arts. Students develop a mini-portfolio inspired by the current exhibit through in-depth exploration of specific media and concepts. Grades 5-12. Addresses BC Visual Arts Curriculum. Studio: Architecturally inspired drawing and sculpture. 9-17 years, $38. Call 604-297-4422 to register.