Wednesday, May 4, 2016


Will I ever visit an art museum again and not hear someone suggest to someone else that Art and the Art World are synonymous, or are those days over? Is Contemporary Art now an atmosphere that exists independent of what we think of when we think of space and time? A Strictly Ballroom land mass, a Devil's Island of the mind?

"Again and again the same situation…"

During a recent walk through a large art museum I overheard a fifty-something woman explain to her adult daughter that the Art World that administers Art -- that is Art -- is "sick. It's gross. It's just like high school."

Yes, the history of Art is full of cliques, movements and isms -- popular people and invisible people -- but these things are endemic to any gathering, be it in politics or in economics, in churches or in moques.

But what if it is? What if the Art World is high school, at least as middle-aged people remember it? Are there equivalencies? Is it worth our while to go down that road?

In the high school that is the Art World, then, would the artists be the jocks?

 Would the curators be the cheerleaders?

And would the critics be the yearbook committee?

As for the gallerists, would they be the teachers?

 And the collectors -- would they be the substitute teachers?

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

When the Bag Breaks the Shoulder Gets a Rest (2011)

We knew that realtor and Xanadulian Bob Rennie was the bag man for the BC Liberal Party, but we did not know to what extent -- until yesterday's article in the Tyee.

Monday, May 2, 2016


The morning sun at this time of year through this kind of glass on a vase of white flowers.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

"I find life…long"

In the film version of John Fowles's novel The Magus (1965), "Conchis" (Anthony Quinn) recites a poem for "Urfe" (Michael Caine) that he claims is from the T'ang Dynasty:

Here at the frontier there are falling leaves.
Although my neighbours are all barbarians, and you,
You are a thousand miles away,
There are always two cups on my table.

But no such poem exists -- at least not from that era. What does exist are a couple of poems that, when combined, might supply it.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Can You Stand It?

The Instant Coffee list serve has posted the Rennie Collection at Wing Sang's call for a "Fine Art Technician". There are a number of requirements, but this one stood out:

ability to stoop, bend, kneel and to stand for up to eight (8) hours per day

Friday, April 29, 2016

Front Porches

I am only just now getting around to reading the articles in the 2015 Harris's Farmer's Almanac. One of these articles is on front porches and their importance to Americans, particularly those in the South.

The image up top appears near the end of the article, and as you can see it features a drawing of a farmhouse, rendered in some detail. This in contrast to the footpath leading to it, which, despite its foregrounded presence, has forsaken any pretence at realism lest it detract from the subject at hand.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

"I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel"

The image above is a re-photograph of a photograph I took of Peter Schuyff at his Chelsea Hotel home in New York City on March 7, 1998.

Peter and I had met the previous spring, at the Banff Centre, when we were guests of the Centre's Writing and Visual Arts programs, respectively. He asked me if I might trade him a copy of my book Kingsway (1995), which I had read from the night before, for an artwork, and I said yes. Below is a picture of the 3"x3" tile Peter shaped, painted, glazed and traded.

This evening Anne Low and Gareth Moore are coming by to look at what Judy Radul and I have in our collections, toward an exhibition they are curating at the Griffin Gallery this September. I will show them Peter's tile as an example of what I hold dear.