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Rare works by prominent painter displayed

More than 70 of Takao Tanabe’s works will be on display at the Vancouver Island University campus location of the Nanaimo Art Gallery. The Order of Canada recipient showcases some of Tanabe’s works from his private collection in the exhibition, which runs until April 11. - Photo Contributed
More than 70 of Takao Tanabe’s works will be on display at the Vancouver Island University campus location of the Nanaimo Art Gallery. The Order of Canada recipient showcases some of Tanabe’s works from his private collection in the exhibition, which runs until April 11.
— image credit: Photo Contributed

The Nanaimo Art Gallery is currently displaying works by legendary B.C. artist Takao Tanabe.

Organized by the Burnaby Art Gallery, the exhibition, titled Takao Tanabe: Chronicles of Form and Place, showcases more than 70 of Tanabe’s works from 1949-2011.

Chronicles of Form and Place is on display at Nanaimo Art Gallery’s Vancouver Island University campus location until April 11.

Art gallery curator Justin McGrail said a handful of pieces in the exhibit have never been on public display in Nanaimo before.

“A lot of the pieces are from Tanabe’s personal collection. So these are works, which have either never been exhibited before and also many of them were never sold,” he said. “It’s a very rare peek.”

Some of the most notable pieces on display include early watercolours West of Winnipeg and Mud Patterns, along with some of his more recent paintings.

Tanabe, who has received the Order of B.C. and Order of Canada, is considered by many as one of Canada’s most important painters. His work has been displayed locally, nationally and internationally and can be seen at the Vancouver Art Gallery and the National Gallery of Canada.

As curator, McGrail elected not to display the pieces in a traditional chronological order. He decided to display the artwork in a fashion that will allow viewers to admire the pieces as individual works of art.

“We looked for continuities between the works across the time period. So when viewers come into the gallery the works jump in date all over the place, but what they will see ... is a continuity through the works over the course of his whole career,” McGrail said. “It lets people see the works on their own ... I just want people to look at the works, not so much as a sequence in his life, but just as individual work on his own.”

Please visit www.nanaimoartgallery.com for more information.

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