I was very impressed with my visit to the Rennie Collection Gallery and the experience I encountered was beyond my expectations.

I was welcomed by super friendly staff that followed with a guided tour of the gallery by an excellent and knowledgeable team member. The tour of the gallery took us almost 50 minutes which allowed us to talk, interact, learn, understand the concepts, inspirations and situations within the collection which created a connection and synchronicity between a viewer and the artist.

It was an excellent and very well done guided tour, something that is difficult to experience in a gallery. Mixed with historical and modern building and it’s architecture creating a unique atmosphere that can be felt in the rooms, corridors and walls which make a unique and awesome journey into Rennie Collection Gallery.

The Rennie Collection Gallery in Vancouver is a “must visit” for all who are art lovers and I thank the gallery staff for this amazing experience and especially to Bob Rennie for all his effort and such successful relationship with Vancouver community.

Click here to schedule a guided tour of the exhibition. There is no charge for admission.

In 2008, Robert Beck changed his surname by a single vowel to Buck. This act of artistic self-nomination, a work of art itself, was precipitated by what he had achieved through his work as Beck, which was often autobiographical in content and persistently diverse in form. As an alias, Buck appealed to the artist for its precision and associations: stag, son, cash, to throw off. To substantiate this artistic transfiguration, Buck created the shrine (from e to u), 2012, a makeshift memorial of candles, flowers, and stuffed animals. The transitory work, susceptible to entropy and the elements, provocatively re-frames the now-common practice in which a community marks the site of a violent event, a fatality or loss, as a place of collective mourning.

Working in various mediums (drawing, sculpture, photography, and video) the artist utilizes many artistic procedures, including appropriation and installation. He has returned repeatedly to the universal themes of family, memory, identity, authorship, and loss. While his own singular experiences are central, Beck wittingly withholds information to solicit the viewer’s own unique associations. Beck has described his work as a way to “create an index by which I could make sense of earlier, often traumatic experiences […] so to transcend them. Evidence of this riddles my work: bodies, holes, camouflage, mimicry, memorials, erasure, guilt, corruption, sex, and death – even my own! And so much of it is haunted by the presence (or is it the absence) of the Father.” Beyond his own father, Beck is referring to the Name-of-the-Father, a psychoanalytic term, via the Church, that designates one’s given name, as well as the symbolic order of things.

Several works by Beck are again relevant in the wake of recent shootings in the United States, notably at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and the Century movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. The thirteen images of teen shooters in Beck’s Thirteen Shooters, 2001 echo Andy Warhol’s 1964 mural Thirteen Most Wanted Men. In 2004, Beck fired a 12-gauge shotgun into three 25-lb buckets of mortician’s wax to create 01/25/04 ‐ Shots No. 12, 13, 14. Traces of a violent event, the resulting holes in the wax evoke an injured body, yet the “wound filler” substance also implies its repair. The work exemplifies Beck’s ability to exploit the meaning inherent in materials, and suggests why his work evolves from one medium to another.

Beck’s scrutiny of violence in American culture extends beyond its effects to its causes, and thus envelopes private realms like home and family. The title Screen Memory, 2004, a series of five silver-gelatin photographs refers to Sigmund Freud’s 1899 essay concerning the paradox of childhood memory, wherein consequential, often traumatic events are not usually retained, while trivial ones are.

Robert Buck lives and works in New York City and the deserts of the American Southwest. His work has been widely exhibited, including exhibitions at the Whitney, New York; Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati; Cleveland Museum; CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco; and the Wexner Museum, Columbus. Buck’s work is represented by CRG Gallery, New York City, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London and Nora Fisch Galería, Buenos Aires.

Rennie Collection, one of the largest collections of contemporary art in Canada, has evolved over a number of years to focus on works related to identity, social injustice, appropriation, painting and photography. In 2009, renovations were completed on the oldest building in Vancouver’s Chinatown to display the collection to the public. Rennie Collection at Wing Sang holds two exhibitions a year with supporting catalogues and events.

Rennie Collection, one of the largest collections of contemporary art in Canada, has evolved over a number of years to focus on works related to identity, social injustice, appropriation, painting and photography. The Collection is dedicated not only to the acquisition of established international artists, but also the work of emerging artists. Currently there are approximately 40 artists collected in depth with about 200 artists in total, including John Baldessari, Amy Bessone, Glenn Brown, David Claerbout, Martin Creed, Gilbert & George, Andrew Grassie, Rodney Graham, Mona Hatoum, Mary Heilmann, Thomas Houseago, Richard Jackson, Brian Jungen, Mike Kelley, Louise Lawler, Kerry James Marshall, Damian Moppett, Simon Starling, Ian Wallace, and Rebecca Warren. The collection, while based in Vancouver is usually spread across the globe, on loan to institutions like Guggenheim New York, MET, Pompidou, Smithsonian and Tate, amongst many others.

Bob Rennie, principal of Rennie Collection, is active in the Vancouver and international art communities. He is Chair of the Tate North American Acquisitions Committee and a member of the Tate International Council. Locally, he sits on the Board of Governors of Emily Carr University of Art & Design in Vancouver as well as University of British Columbia Provost’s Committee on University Art. In 2009, renovations were completed on the oldest building in Vancouver’s Chinatown to include a private exhibition space to display his collection to the public. Rennie Collection at Wing Sang holds two exhibitions a year with supporting catalogues; admission is free by appointment.

The Wing Sang building is the oldest in Vancouver Chinatown. The Victorian Italianate structure located at 51 East Pender Street was constructed in 1889 for Yip Sang, a prominent Chinese-Canadian businessman whose Wing Sang Company flourished in an era when the Chinese faced discrimination and restrictions.

In 1901 the building was extended to 69 East Pender Street by architect Thomas Ennor Julian (best known for Holy Rosary Cathedral). In 1912, Yip Sang built a six-storey brick building across the alley behind Pender Street for his family.

An elevated passageway connected the two buildings. Beneath it ran Market Alley, a once thriving retail area with small shops and services which also served as a former center for the production of opium (legal in Canada until 1909). The building has had a rich and varied history and contains the oldest schoolroom in Vancouver. Wing Sang Building acquired historical preservation and heritage designation by the City of Vancouver in 1999.

More than four years of thoughtful restoration and renovation has turned this Vancouver heritage landmark into a private exhibition space for the Rennie Collection, an internationally acclaimed collection of contemporary art. Elegant, clean lines integrate with rich historic elements to create expansive spaces for art with focus on identity, social injustice, appropriation, painting and photography.

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