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. 

Behind the Canvas: Rachel Bouchard

We are excited to share this Behind the Canvas feature this week on Rachel Bouchard. Rachel is the dealer and creative force behind the Front Gallery in Edmonton, AB. She is constantly exploring new artists, and works and isn't afraid to take risks in her programming, which makes her someone you will want to watch! We recently caught up with Rachel, and here is what she had to say.

AP. Where did you grow up? What or who inspired you? What are some of your proudest achievements?
RB. I grew up on a farm in northern Alberta, and I would say that my time on the farm was what inspired me. I was always exploring and I have a deep appreciation for nature which developed in me a longing for introspection while also appreciating the sense of being interconnected. I have always felt that curating is mostly intuitive, and my hope is that I provide an atmosphere that allows the viewer to get lost in a painting/show. I studied at Medicine Hat College, Red Deer College, Mount Royal College, and Sotheby’s Institute. My proudest moment was when I travelled to Italy to study ‘Reggio Children’ which is a program that focuses on discovery learning through art. It was a pivotal moment for me, being a mother of four, because it really validated my life long passion for discovery learning, and the effort that I put in to instilling the value of art, the importance of introspection and connecting while preserving our own interpretation.

AP. How would you describe the type of art and artists you represent? 
RB. I have to give credit to the previous owner (Gregorie Barber) for having a solid group when I took over the gallery four years ago. That being said, I have added to the group, and a few have moved on. My curatorial philosophy: Without words, the artist provides a language that can soothe, excite, and even challenge the viewer. My job is to ensure that the transitions are seamless, so that the overall message is invigorating and unforgettable. Edmonton is a fabulous city with such artistic diversity. Many of my artists are local and I’m so proud of the way that they represent this city. I have every aspect of Edmonton featured here at The Front Gallery. Beautiful landscapes, back alleys, figures, sculpture, as well as abstract expressionists. 

AP. What upcoming project(s) are you currently really excited about? 
RB. I have been working on an estate that includes work from several well-known international artists. It has been a wonderful experience to see some of this work outside of a gallery/museum setting.

AP. Where can people find your gallery? How can they purchase a work?
RB. I am located at 12323 104th Avenue, in Edmonton, Alberta. They can purchase work by visiting the gallery or they can also contact us through our website.

AP. Who is your favourite creative person? Why?
RB. That is a really difficult question, but I have to say Vincent van Gogh. I love his work, and I also appreciate his struggle. I have used his perseverance as an example to students while teaching a six week art class in Medicine Hat in 2004. Each lesson had an art history component to it, and I would always touch on how dramatically his work improved over a ten year period and that he firmly believed that learning to draw was like learning how to write, anyone could do it with practice. It really encouraged the students who loved art but lacked the confidence to explore their creativity.

AP. What is your favourite album of all time?
RB. Jan and Dean because it was the first album that I bought and I felt pretty cool. 

AP. If you didn’t have to work what would you do with your time?
RB. Exactly what I am doing now, with a little more free time for family and to travel.

AP. What is your favourite journey?
RB. When I lose myself in art, whether I am producing or viewing someone else’s work.

AP. What is your favourite work of art in your personal collection?
RB. A painting that my daughter Janice painted for Mother’s day when she was in grade 7. It is a moody little painting.

AP. What are your thoughts on the influence of fashion and music on visual arts?
RB. I love the vibe that comes from all of the above. When they are cohesive, it intensifies the mood, and helps to create a beautiful experience.

AP. Who is your favourite author?
RB. It is a toss up between Walt Whitman and Maya Angelou.

AP. How do you decide which artists to work with?
RB. If I connect with their work, I usually connect with them too.

AP. What is your greatest achievement in life so far?
RB. My family.

AP. What is your favourite colour?
RB. I love them all!

AP. What is the one thing you want to share with everyone reading this?
RB. Take the time to enjoy art and always have a good book on the go.

For more information about Rachel or the Front Gallery you can visit their website at