Art Spiegelman: Co-Mix: A Retrospective of Comics, Graphics and Scraps
Vancouver Art Gallery
Art Spiegelman redefined the graphic novel with his Pulitzer Prize–winning Maus, a heartbreaking account of his parents’ holocaust story, with Jews as mice and Nazis as cats. This retrospective (his first!) features 400 sketches, panels and studies, spanning Spiegelman’s early days as part of the 1970s “underground comix” subculture, through to In the Shadow of No Towers, his reaction to the 9-11 attacks. Until June 9.
Oh, Canada is the largest survey of Canadian contemporary art ever created outside the borders of our home and native land, featuring the work of more than 60 multi-generational, multi-media, multi-provincial artists—including Marcel Dzama, Shary Boyle, Wanda Koop and Douglas Coupland. It’s in its final weeks, and it’s in North Adams, Mass., but fortunately there’s a gorgeous 450-page show catalogue of this essential overview that provides insider interviews and great eye candy. Until April 18.
Beat Nation: Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture
The Power Plant
From graffiti murals incorporating Haida figures, to rap performed in traditional Aboriginal dialects, modern culture is given a distinct twist in Beat Nation. Bridging the gaps of tradition and modernity, the show illustrates how Aboriginal youth use urban culture to explore their identity and bring a voice to the issues and realities they face. At press time, as flash mobs of protestors rise up across Canada in support of Chief Theresa Spence and the Idle No More movement, this show becomes an increasingly urgent one to see. Until May 5.