The Vancouver Art Gallery announces a new exhibition uniting the works of two women artists practicing in British Columbia in the early twentieth century in Emily Carr in Dialogue with Mattie Gunterman, on view at the Gallery from April 28 to September 3, 2018. Home to the world’s finest collection of Emily Carr works, the Gallery pairs a selection of paintings by Emily Carr (1871–1945) from its permanent collection with forty-eight photographs by US-born photographer Mattie Gunterman (1872–1945). Gunterman’s photos are on loan from the private collection of Vancouver photographer and writer Henri Robideau.
The exhibition is reflective of Emily Carr’s great affection for BC’s landscape, a place she regarded as a site of artistic and spiritual inquiry. While others perceived the forests of this region as untamed and impenetrable, Carr saw the vitality of the natural world, and seized the opportunity to present her personal vision of the coastal rainforest.
Mattie Gunterman came to settle in the BC community of Thomson’s Landing (later Beaton) in 1898 after a 600 mile trek from Seattle, Washington. Like Carr, Gunterman’s oeuvre reflects her deep engagement with the wilderness around her, which she documented through the lens of her medium format glass plate camera. Family, friends, trappers, prospectors, miners, and Gunterman herself are among the subjects featured, providing a fascinating look into her daily life.
“By presenting the works of these two prolific female artists in tandem, we offer unique insight into twentieth century British Columbia,” says Kathleen S. Bartels, Director of the Vancouver Art Gallery. “Gunterman’s photographic works in particular are not only an important resource for those interested in early pioneer life, but are compelling artistically for their direct and expressive nature, which was in sharp contrast to much of the pictorialist, atmospheric photography that dominated the period. Her methods innovatively anticipate much of the contemporary photography techniques of today.”
Emily Carr in Dialogue with Mattie Gunterman is organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery and is curated by Ian M. Thom, Senior Curator, Historical.