Join us Monday evening, June 17 at 7pm in the architecturally spectacular rennie museum for ‘8 x 5’ — a special evening featuring the world premiere of eight new, five-minute string quartets performed by the internationally renowned Borealis String Quartet.

Experience these eight new quartets written by emerging composers, surrounded by the galleries of art that inspired them. Audience members are invited to join us after for a special reception, featuring the young composers presented that evening along with the members of the quartet, composer Dr. Jennifer Butler, and curatorial staff of the museum. (All proceeds benefit the Canadian Music Centre.)

Tickets are just $20, reception included. Students $10.

The works were created as part of our Third Annual Jean Coulthard String Quartet Readings and are inspired by and refer to the latest exhibition at the Rennie Museum — Spring 2019: Collected Works, a group exhibition encompassing the mediums of photography, painting and film. The Readings this year are being led by Dr. Jennifer Butler.

Previous compositions created for our Coulthard Readings include Angela So’s Ice Drifter:

A portraiture of the collecting spirit, the works featured in this exhibit invite exploration of what collected objects, and the considered and unintentional ways they are displayed, tell us. Featuring the works of four artists—Andrew Grassie, William E. Jones, Louise Lawler and Catherine Opie—the exhibition runs from February 16 to June 15, 2019.

These are tales of loss, of magnificent things found, of the transient nature of the lives of those that collect art, of destruction, of love and hate, of the passing nature of wealth and celebrity, of the value and worth of art itself.

BC Director touring the Rennie Museum Exhibition with Gavin & Sarah Topnik

700 Nimes Road is American photographer Catherine Opie’s portrait of legendary actress Elizabeth Taylor. There is a fascinating contrast between Opie, a self-declared butch leather dyke, creating a portrait for one of the most iconic, glamorized, and feminine women of all time. Opie did not directly photograph Taylor for any of the fifty images in the expansive portfolio. Instead, she focused on Taylor’s home and the objects within, inviting viewers to see—then see beyond— the façade of fame and consider how both treasures and trinkets act as vignettes to the stories of a life. Glamorous images of jewels and trophies juxtapose with mundane shots of a printer and the remote-control user manual.

Taylor passed away part way through Opie’s project. The subsequent photos include Taylor’s mementos heading off to auction, raising the question, “Once the collections that help to define someone are disbursed, will our image of that person lose focus?”

Villa Iolas (1982/2017), by American artist and filmmaker William E. Jones, depict the Athens home of iconic art dealer and collector Alexander Iolas, who gave Andy Warhol his first solo exhibition, helped discover Man Ray, one of the greatest surrealists, and built the careers of Max Ernst, Yves Klein and Giorgio de Chirico among other great artists.

The first half of the exhibition are photographs of the magnificent marble villa, that is filled with works by these great titans of modern art. Left in a gift to the city of Athens as a modern art museum, he was so reviled as a gay man that the magnificent home was left by the government to rot, the artworks were all looted and the photographer visited again to photograph the graffiti-filled burnt ruin left behind.

Scottish painter Andrew Grassie’s carefully constructed, hyper-realistic images detail the home and private storage space of a major art collector, providing a peek at how the passionately devoted integrates and accommodates the physical embodiments of such commitment into daily life.

Images by American photographer Louise Lawler depicting art installed in various private and public settings. Lawler is known for photographing portraits of other internationally-known artists’ work, giving special attention to the spaces in which they are placed and methods used to make them, raising issues of appropriation and celebrity in addition to asking questions about what happens when the collector and the collected are no longer immediately connected.