The Art Perspective blog is a collection of thoughts, musings, and reflections on art, artists, and current happenings in the art world. 

Our 10 Most Anticipated Exhibitions of 2017

Each year we look forward to reviewing the exhibition schedules of museums and galleries across North American, Europe and Asia. There are always numerous shows that make it on to our long list, but only 10 become our most anticipated for 2017. This years anticipated exhibitions range from emerging young artists to masters, legends, and of course some of the best in photography. Whether you are in Laguna Beach or New York City, London, UK or Edmonton, we have your must see shows for the year:

1) InFocus Photo Exhibit (The Front Gallery, Edmonton, AB) February 7 - 28, 2017 - Now in its third year InFocus Photo continues to expand and grow. What started in 2015 as a locally focused event, expanded in 2016 to include photography from across Alberta, and now in 2017 the exhibit will feature work from Canadian photographers from all across the country. This event is quickly becoming an annual force, demonstrating the value and importance of photography as a fine art form. Featured photographers include Curtis Trent, Greg Gerla, Joshua Jensen, Ann Mansolino, and many others.

2) David Hockney (Tate Britain, London, UK) February 9 - May 29, 2017 - With a career spanning decades, this retrospective of Hockney's work comes just before his 80th birthday. His style, and use of technology continues to change and evolve with his work. This exhibit will showcase his early works from the late 1960's to his most recent paintings which have never been seen in public before. At a time when gay rights are coming under fire, Hockney, who is openly gay, often explored sexuality in his work and many of those seminal pieces will be on display as part of this exhibit.

3) This is America II - America Martin (JoAnne Artman Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA) February 15 - April 15, 2017 - With this new body of work America Martin continues to showcase her unique and humanist approach to her work, through the lens of her Colombian-American roots. Her exploration of the human form, is well represented through her iconic nudes, in particular her representation of the prototypical heroic female. Her work is both felt and experienced and America is an artist you should be watching and looking to add to your collections this year.

4) The Looking Glass (Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton, AB) March 11 - May 28, 2017 - This multifaceted exhibition, curated by Laura Ritchie explores the depth and reflection in portraiture. Reaching into the AGA archives, Ritchie has selected works from artists since the 19th century including Walker Evans, Joe Fafard, Kathe Kollwitz, Diego Rivera, and Andy Warhol. 

5) Ian Cheng (MoMA PS1, New York) April 9 - September 25, 2017 - Last summer we featured Ian Cheng on our list of the top 5 emerging artists under 35 that you should be watching, and now less than a year later he is receiving his first solo-exhibit at a US museum, and not just any museum, MoMA. The exhibition, a series of three live simulation video works, explore the history of cognitive evolution. Emissary, as the trilogy is called is made up of open-ended animations with no fixed outcome or narrative.

6) Georgia O'Keeffe (Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, ON) April 22 - July 30, 2017 - In partnership with the Tate Modern, this is the only North American stop for this retrospective touring exhibit featuring over 100 of O'Keeffe's works. The exhibit will touch on her entire career from her early abstraction experiments to her late work. The exhibit starts with her first show in 1916 in New York and follows her career until her death in 1986. A rare opportunity to see one the great modernist painters from the 20th century.

7) Rei Kawakubo | Comme des Garcons: Art of the In-Between (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York) May 4 - September 4, 2017 - Each spring the Costume Institute selects a muse, last year it was the intersection of technology and fashion, this year they have shifted their focus to the art of the in-between, exploring east/west, male/female, past/present through the lens of Rei Kawakubo's extraordinary career at Comme des Garcons. The exhibit will feature 120 of Kawakubo's womenswear designs from her first runway show in Paris in 1981 to her current collection. 

8) Fahrelnissa Zeid (Tate Modern, London, UK) June 6 - October 8, 2017 - Trained in both Paris and Istanbul Fahrelnissa Zeid (1901-1991) was easily one of the most influential Turkish artists, period. She was known for her large scale abstract works that were influenced by post-war Europe. This exhibit explores the motion in her work, from complex patterns to geometrical details.

9) Basquiat: Boom for Real (Barbican Art Gallery, London, UK) September 21 - January 28, 2018 - This is the first major exhibition of Jean-Michel Basquiat's (1960-1988) work in the UK. The exhibit will draw together over 100 works from institutions as well as private collections including many works which have never before been seen in the UK. 

10) Jasper Johns (Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK) September 23 - December 10, 2017 - Jasper Johns is arguably one of the most important living artists of the 20th century. Known for his unique treatment of iconography, and his appropriation of objects and symbols, Johns has been a central force in the abstract expressionism, neo-Dada, and pop-art movements since the 1950's. This exhibit will focus on various chapters of the artists' career. 

The 15 Best Buys Under $10K

It can be overwhelming to know where to begin when collecting art. With so many talented artists, it often comes down to finding an artist or artists, whose style, approach and technique you like and appreciate. It also doesn't hurt to have some works who are destined to hold their value if not increase over time. With that in mind, we have curated a list of our top 15 best buys currently under $10K.

1) 'Flora (Snipper, Snapper)' by Michael Abraham - Abraham's works continue to appreciate in value. This gem from his 2011 collection, shows the edgy, playfulness Abraham so adeptly uses in his works to draw audiences in. With new works currently in creation, and an upcoming fall show, Abraham remains one of Canada's top artists to watch. His work can be found in the private collections of numerous notable celebrities, as well as in the permanent collection of galleries and museums across North America.

2) 'Alone' by Allan Bailey - Bailey is an up and coming photographer based in St. Albert, Alberta. He was named Alberta Photographic Artist of the Year for 2015 by the Professional Photographers of Canada (PPOC) and has a long list of accolades to his credit. 'Alone' from Bailey's 2015 collection shot entirely on his iPhone 6, shows his depth and diversity as a photographer. With his first solo exhibition coming this June, Bailey's works are ones to get your hands on now, before the prices increase with his increasing profile and talent.

3) 'Still Life Morning Life' by Les Graff - At 80 years old, Les Graff has said he will continue his journey as an artist until he can "no longer drag his ass into his studio". Graff's career has been a expansive one over 60 years, to be able to acquire one of his works for under $10K at this stage in his career is rare. You will definitely not want to pass on this one.

4) '22 Horses Deep' by Casey McGlynn - While still a student at Ontario's School for Art and Design McGlynn was invited to show his work at a small restaurant. The restaurant owner saw the work, and complained that he couldn't have this "junk" on his walls. Meanwhile patrons of the restaurant fell in love with the work, asking for prices, which prompted the owner to change his mind and demand a cut of all sales. McGlynn's career took off when famed art collector, Popsy Johnstone bought one of his works, catapulting him to representation at Bau-Xi, the youngest artist ever to be signed to their permanent roster.

5) 'Peek a Blue' by Pascale Ouellet - Since moving to Alberta in 2002, Ouellet has been heavily influenced by the province and her surroundings. She has had numerous successful solo shows and continues to be popular amongst collectors. 

6) 'Wiggle Room' by Alex Peck-Whyte - Peck-Whyte graduated from the University of Alberta in 2007 and continues to hone her craft as a artist. Her works remain intriguing and she explores shape and dimension. If you are looking for an artist early in their career to follow, Peck-Whyte should be amongst the top of your list!

7) 'Beast in the Rough' by Scott Plear - Plear remains amongst the most celebrated of Canadian artists. With his RCA status, he is recognized for his achievements in the arts and has given back as an instructor, contributor, and mentor to many in the art world. Plear's works are distinctive and rare to get for such a solid price. 

8) 'Reflections' by Andrew Stelmack - Stelmack is a rare triple threat, he can sing, act and paint! An accomplished theatre professional, Stelmack has successfully transitioned into a solid visual artist. His works can be found in galleries across Ontario, and his is represented by Art Perspective in other markets across North America. Stelmack continues to refine his craft and his current price point reflects the value of an artist who is really coming into his own. 

9) 'Trio Concertino' by Ernestine Tahedl - Tahedl is a well respected international artist. Invited to the RCA in 1977, she was one of the youngest members to ever be invited. Her work can be found in public, private and corporate collections across Canada, United States of America, France, Switzerland, Austria, and Japan. 

10) 'Nakameguro' by Johnny Taylor - Taylor continues to push the boundaries on his technique and style. After spending several months last year on a residency in the Chiyoda art district in Tokyo, Taylor is working on a new collection that will debut in June of this year at the Bugera Matheson Gallery. Taylor's bold brush strokes, and eye for architecture and design gives his work depth. From his early days painting in East Hastings, in Vancouver - Taylor keeps learning and evolving. With galleries in Chicago and LA consistently interested, Taylor is one to watch.

11) 'Agoura Hills' by Michael Thiessen - Born in Dawson's Creek, BC, Thiessen grew up in Vancouver and often explores themes of travel in his works. He is mentored by another artist on our list, Scott Plear. Thiessen is early in his career but his works continue to garner a lot of interest. 

12) 'Ernie's Horses' by Curtis Trent - Edmonton based photographer Curtis Trent is known for his extensive commercial work and an impressive client list that includes clients from all over Canada, and the US. This work from his most recent show, Detour, follows Trent across the Saskatchewan prairies and small towns exploring life. His work is often compared to another celebrated Alberta photography, Danny Singer.

13) 'Storming West of Vulcan' by Jim Visser - Visser's works can be found in corporate and private collections all across Canada. From special commissioned works for the Kay Centre at the University of Alberta hospital to solo exhibitions in Edmonton, Red Deer and Stony Plain. Visser has a new show that opens April 8th in Edmonton, at the Bugera Matheson Gallery. 

14) 'Shore Leave' by Jonathan Forrest - Forrest made our list earlier this year of the top 25 artists to watch, so it should be no surprise we would feature one of his works on our best buys list for March. Forrest's use of colour, texture and space continue to pull us in and his representation across western Canada remains strong. We suggest seriously looking into adding one of his works to your collection, while they are still at such a great price point!

15) 'Full Save One' by Cole Morgan - Morgan born in New York, lives and works in Belgium. He is represented by galleries in Belgium, the Netherlands, San Francisco as well as in Vancouver, Canada. His use of texture and mixed media creates intrigue in his work. His works have consistently been going up in value each year. If you are looking for a sound investment, Morgan's works fit the bill.

For information on how to purchase any of the above works, please do not hesitate to contact us directly. 

Behind the Canvas: Riki Kuropatwa

Behind the Canvas this week we chat with Winnipeg born, Edmonton based artist, Riki Kuropatwa. Riki's approach to her work is unique while challenging traditional conventions and perceptions of common activities. From her series around food, to roller derby, to various abstractions her approach always leaves you with something to think about. We are proud at Art Perspective to be representing Riki's work, for additional information, to be included on the mailing list or to purchase a work, please contact us.

AP. Tell our readers a bit about you.
RK. I grew up in the north end of Winnipeg, on Bannerman, just off Main Street, close to the intersection made famous by Randy Bachman’s Prairie Town song (Portage and Main 50 Below). I am the sixth of seven children, which caused a lot of attention and speculation growing up. People would inquire as to whether we were strict Catholics (ironic as we are Jewish), or if my mom ran a daycare. My upbringing was a strange mix of leftist politics and traditional religion, that is, individual freedom and restriction. In public school, one student (per grade, or school I’m not sure) was selected to take Saturday art classes at the WAG (Winnipeg Art Gallery). I was selected, in my foggy memory I am not certain how many years I went, but the experience was significant and gave me a lot more exposure to art and art processes than what I was getting in school. I would never have been able to go due to financial constraints growing up, so it was very fortunate for me indeed. If I hadn’t already self-identified as an artist, I did during this time, and ever after.

AP. How would you describe the type of art you create?
RK. I am predominately a figurative, representational painter. I am equally interested in the visual and conceptual components of art. Beyond this, it is hard to select the right descriptive language that is both meaningful and non-restrictive. 

AP. What project(s) are you working on currently?
RK. I am deep into my football series, moving away from the roller derby and doll imagery for the moment. Typically, I would have two bodies of work to move between, but I am finding the football series diverse enough to stay focused. Moving back and forth between acrylic on canvas, to oil stick on wood panel keeps things interesting. For several years I have noticed the highly charged images of football players as they tackle, pile up, and celebrate. Like with the Roller Derby images, I am attracted to the way the players look, in their padded uniforms, and most especially in action, and interaction with each other. 

AP. Where can people find your art? How can they purchase a work?
RK. At the moment, you can see my work at and of course they can contact me through Art Perspective.

AP. Who is your favourite creative person? Why?
RK. Must choose Curtis Trent, my husband, obviously the closest creative person in my life. I admire his passion and work ethic. We have very different ways of working, but experience the same joys and pains that make up the art process. 

AP. With your husband being a successful artist/photographer in his own right, is it difficult to be married to someone in a similar creative career?
RK. It is an advantage, and a blessing, in so many ways, that we are both in the arts. We share an understanding and shorthand. We can celebrate and commiserate the ups and downs of a creative life.  We have very heated debates around colour and composition, and content, which from an outsider’s perspective must seem bizarre or comical. Also, practically speaking, it’s great having professional copy work at my fingertips.

AP. What is your favourite album of all time?
RK. Impossible question. I listen to music in very compartmentalised ways. I have specific music for working in the studio (Bob Marley, Jacob Dylan, Lucinda Williams, Sade, Blue Rodeo, the Avett Brothers), which I use unless I am listening to talk radio (CBC).

AP. If you didn’t have to work what would you do with your time?
RK. Not much different, I am fortunate that I know what I love to do, and am able to do what I love to do. Financial freedom would enable more of the same.

AP. What is your favourite journey?
RK. Going down the hill, on my way to U of A, on a clear day. It offers a lovely view of downtown and the river valley. And then again, driving over the high level bridge, over the North Saskatchewan. 

AP. What is your favourite piece that you've created?
RK. Usually the piece I am working on is my favourite, so right now that is the football tackles on black ground. When I look back at work I’ve made, where I’ve used different imagery, or different processes, it will become favoured for a time.

AP. What are your thoughts on the influence of fashion and music on visual arts?
RK. It’s all connected, you can see that historically, it can be harder to spot in real time. For all its challenges, I love the time we are living in, there is such a wide view of what is beautiful and interesting and valuable.

AP. Who is your favourite author?
RK. Instead of favourite, as it changes for me every few years, I can share the last few books I have enjoyed. The book I can’t get enough of is ‘ How to Fly a Horse’ by Kevin Ashton. It is non-fiction, and is dense with historical and scientific information; you couldn’t have paid me enough to read a book like this ten years ago, I was solely interested in fiction. Tastes change. The other two are “the Signature of all Things’ by Elizabeth Gilbert, and ‘Bossy Pants’ by Tina Fey.

AP. Where do you go for inspiration?
RK. Ideas come all the time, from both my interior world and my exterior environment. Instead of a sketchbook, I have a box of images, bits of paper with words, ideas, quotes, that feed the work. If I am in need of an idea, or motivation, sifting through the items to generate or recapture ideas/direction. Inspiration is mostly myth (one of many surrounding art, artists, and art making), doing the work, and doing it regularly is far more powerful, and where the real magic lies. Physical movement is essential to my ability to get into and stay in my studio. I will often exercise before, during, or after working, to clear my mind, get energy, and dispel anxiety. Changing my environment, whether that is going for a walk, to window shop, or watching television, they all feed my studio work, directly or indirectly. As a direct example, I recently took a couple photos of my television screen when having paused the show resulted in an incredible still image. These will probably make it into my studio box to use in some way.

AP. What is your greatest achievement so far?
RK. My daughter and my relationship with my husband are the two things I am most proud of, although I am do not think they are achievements. Also, being able to stand up in front of a class and speak continues to blow my mind, as I am an introvert, and experience social anxiety.

AP. What is your favourite colour?
RK. Impossible to select one favourite colour. I am attracted to different colours at different times, for different purposes. I certainly have a particular colour palette running through my work. New colours and colour combinations grab my attention all the time, from what I see around me, and in my environment, which includes in nature, on television, in fabric, and design/advertising. I recently saw the new Cinderella movie with my daughter, the colour combination that the town criers were wearing was exquisite, extreme lemon yellow with deep, dark, navy blue-purple, it will make an appearance, or in some way influence my colour choices. I can have intense reactions, of all sorts, from colour. It is no simple or passive thing. 

AP. Who are some of the heroes in life?
RK. My mom is someone I admire very much. She is a force of nature. She had 7 kids over 9 years, worked full-time, and managed to do her undergraduate and graduate degrees. We finished our Masters’ the same year, I was 26, and she was 50. My sister Sharon is another one of my heroes, she is super smart and articulate and strong and sexy, a killer combo. My closest girlfriends have heroic features, whether it’s their quick wit, or ability to be consistently fair and generous under pressure. I am more interested in the heroes in my immediate experience than distant figures.

AP. Who are some of your favourite heroes of fiction?
RK. Pippi Longstocking, and by extension Astrid Lindgren (or should that be reversed?), anyone else I could mention, is another version of the same model.

AP. What is your motto?
RK. I don’t have a motto, but one phrase that I identify with myself is ‘master procrastinator’. After many years, and while it is still an area of struggle, I have realized the importance of my procrastinating as a major active component of my way of working and being in the world. It enables me to synthesize, stew, collect and work through ideas, and maintain energy and focus.

AP. If you could live anywhere, where would you like to live?
RK. I have lived in several cities in Canada, and would like to try a few more in my lifetime. I live mainly in my own interior world, the exterior needs to meet a short list of requirements: be in Canada, not too big, not too small.

AP. What is the one thing you want to share with everyone reading this?
RK. The question activates my desire to stand on a soapbox, and proselytize for the value of art. Art is important. Art is for everyone. You do not need to make art to be involved in and with art. In our time of speed and technology addiction, art is a place to restore balance and ground oneself. Doing something that takes time, and uses your whole self, is critical for me, in order to live a good life.