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Open Spaces: Windows to a View

This program offers local and regional artists an opportunity to showcase their art in a highly visible downtown location while working with a professional guest curator. The program, which began in 2009, celebrates the diversity and quality of works by regional artists, while enlivening the Centre Street LRT Platform on 7 Ave. between 1 St. and Centre St. SE.

Current exhibition​​​​​​​​​

Recent Acquisitions, Collin Zipp

July 19 – November 7, 2019

Presented in partnership with The City of Calgary

The City of Calgary Public Art Program Open Spaces Gallery, EB Centre Street C-Train Station

Exploring ideas of theft and authorship, Recent Acquisitions stems from the story of a stolen Vincent Van Gogh painting. Known as both Poppy Flowers and Vase with Flowers, van Gogh’s painting was taken from the Mohammed Mahmoud Khalil Museum in Cairo, Egypt in 2010. Eleven gallery workers, officials, and security guards were arrested and thought to be behind this theft. All were subsequently released from prison due to lack of incriminating evidence. Valued at $50-million, the painting has yet to be recovered.

For this piece, I commissioned a series of seemingly identical forgeries (eleven of them; conceptually, one for each of the accused/arrested gallery staff). The paintings were ordered from an art reproduction company based in China. Ordering these works, especially from a country known for its mass production of objects, furthers the conversation of genius in artistry and the devaluing of multiples and reproductions. Recent Acquisitions explores the fine line between theft and appropriation and questions the role of production in art making and collecting.

These works exist as multiples, only with slight differences. Individual brush strokes are distinctive as the representation of each flower and stem. Seeing the paintings side-by-side forces the viewer to further investigate their similarities and differences and making it an exercise in the way a work of art is looked at. Does the viewer look at the series as a whole while looking for differences between the paintings, or are works contemplated individually? Does the method of visual consumption affect the value one places on a single work of art? The work in this exhibition forces the viewer to re-evaluate or re-examine an understanding of what an original and multiple is and can be.

Collin Zipp is a multidisciplinary artist who works conceptually with video, photography, sculpture, painting and installation. Zipp has exhibited his work widely both nationally and internationally in solo and group exhibitions and screenings. Zipp obtained his BFA from the University of Manitoba’s School of Art in 2005 and his MFA from the University of Lethbridge's Faculty of Fine Arts in 2011. He is currently Director of PLATFORM centre for photographic + digital arts.