Jim Adams is presenting a series of paintings as part of Vancouver Special, the triennial presented at Vancouver Art Gallery. These paintings inspired by mythology and the black experience are portraits that merge storytelling of the ancient world and contemporary politics. Vancouver Special: Disorientations and Echo will be the second in what is envisioned as a series of exhibitions intended to provide an expansive look at contemporary art in the Greater Vancouver region.
“For the last 5 years, I’ve been working with the classic myth and trying to break it into the 21st century. Zeus and Hera, for example. Or Odan from the Nigerian Yoruba. All myths came out of East Africa, along with the people, as they spread throughout the world. Of course, over time they were modified and changed, but essentially they’re the same myth. Joseph Campbell would call them creation myths. Those are the myths I work with. It’s not a new idea, if you ever look at any of the paintings in art history, by Rembrandt or Caravaggio, you will see that they painted myths and put them into contemporary situations.”
– Jim Adams
The exhibition will reflect the activity of both artists at an early point in their career and more established artists whose practices span several decades. Encompassing a variety of media, scale and modes of presentation, the artworks that comprise the exhibition address themes that include cultural resilience, the articulation of suppressed histories, the performance of identity and embodied knowledge.
Since its founding, the Vancouver Art Gallery has regularly organized group exhibitions representing the current activity of artists in the region. Building on this history, which began with the BC Annual exhibitions (1932–68) and continued with significant curatorial projects of recent decades, the Vancouver Special exhibitions will occur every three to five years with the intention of offering a sustained engagement with the diverse communities of contemporary artists who make Vancouver a dynamic centre of cultural production.