Press Release | 51@51: Collected Works

After thirteen years and twenty-one exhibitions, rennie museum announces our final presentation in the historic Wing Sang building. The exhibition opens August 13 and concludes November 12, 2022.

Featuring fifty-one artworks by thirty-six prominent artists from A(bdessemed) to Y(iadom-Boakye), the farewell exhibition breaks the museum’s self-imposed rule of not titling its shows. 51 @ 51 references the number of artworks in the exhibit as well as the address of the museum—51 East Pender Street.

Long recognized for the depth of its collecting style evinced in previous monographic exhibitions, 51 @ 51 will demonstrate the breadth of rennie collection. Selections from acquisitions of the past two decades, including recent additions, illustrate a variety of practices and media that highlight key disciplines in the collection.

Thirty-three artists in 51 @ 51 are exhibiting at rennie museum for the first time, some having never before exhibited in Canada; and every artwork on display is making its Canadian debut, with one notable exception—Richard Jackson’s Rennie 101 (2009-2010). Commissioned for his solo exhibition at rennie museum in 2010, the 33 feet-long wall painting was actuated directly onto the first-floor gallery wall. At the conclusion of the survey, a new wall was built in front of the monumental work, entombing it as a secret, unseen participant to all installations since. Now, for this concluding exhibition, the striking wall painting is once again visible, re-emerging with its full commanding presence.

The nature of painting is further examined through the inclusion of more than twenty works that present the medium in both traditional and unexpected forms. rennie collection has long maintained an exploration of the evolution of perspectives in painting. The intentional selection of grandly scaled pieces for this presentation fosters an indulgence in one of the oldest forms of creative expression, and the diverse approaches on display are a reminder of the ways artists have pushed boundaries of applying paint to canvas.

Sculptures throughout the museum galleries, in unexpected interior spaces, and at exterior locations, interspersed with new media works, exemplify rennie collection’s embrace of the plurality of artist expression. The existing installation on Wing Sang’s celebrated rooftop sculpture garden is further enlivened with two new sculptures, infusing expanded voices into conversations about statuary and form.

For our last installation at 51, we got together and reminisced over the last thirteen years in the Wing Sang building. Starting with Mona Hatoum in October 2009 through to our final exhibition today, we have installed 684 works on the walls, on the floors, on the ceiling, and on the roof of the Wing Sang. Over the same period, we have lent over 600 works to museums around the world. As we sat down and looked over the nearly 3,000 works that comprise rennie collection, we thought there is no better time than now to take a journey through some of the works that Canada has not seen in their museum walks.

This all started long before our inaugural show in 2009. Somewhere in the 1990s we made a conscious decision to elevate artist voices through the rennie collection, to raise concerns of our times—with race, social justice, gender, and inclusion—by simply offering opportunities for artists to be seen. Although it is impossible to fully capture these complex issues, as custodians, we want to enable a reading of our times, twenty-five years from the date of any acquisition. Above all, this final exhibition at 51 is a catalyst to audit our custodianship and start to prepare for the next leg of our journey.

Please enjoy,
Bob

Exhibited Artists

Adel Abdessemed
Andrea Bowers
Frank Bowling
Nick Cave
Ed Clark
Martin Creed
Melvin Edwards
Derek Fordjour
Bernard Frize
Genevieve Gaignard

Theaster Gates
Sam Gilliam
Peter Halley
Lauren Halsey
Mary Heilmann
Richard Jackson
Jae Jarrell
Titus Kaphar

Hannah Levy
Glenn Ligon
Morris Louis
Jumana Manna
Kenneth Noland
Albert Oehlen
Ahmet Öğüt
Joe Overstreet
Gordon Parks

Adrian Piper
Deborah Roberts
Buhlebezwe Siwani
Cauleen Smith
Hank Willis Thomas
Brian Tolle
Jonathan Wateridge
Charles White
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

Rennie Collection is a private collection of contemporary art that focuses on issues related to identity, social commentary and injustice, and appropriation through the intersection of painting, sculpture, photography, film, and new media. Based in Vancouver, the collection maintains a robust lending program, collaborating with institutions globally.

Rennie Museum opened in October 2009 in historic Wing Sang, the oldest structure in Vancouver’s Chinatown, to feature art exclusively from rennie collection. Showcasing works by emerging and established international artists, the dynamic monographic and thematic group exhibitions and associate programming are offered free to the public. Its lauded education program for children and teens; a noted professional practice and mentorship curriculum to support and promote post-secondary arts students; and a publication program to advance curatorial scholarship are hallmarks in the museum’s legacy. rennie museum will close at the end of 2022 for Wing Sang to become the home of the nation’s first Chinese Canadian Museum.


To reduce the potential risk of COVID-19 transmission, we require that all visitors follow the guidelines outlined below to protect everyone’s health and safety while visiting the Museum:

● reserve timed-entry tickets in advance and arrive at your reserved time
● visitors will be admitted in 30-minute intervals with no re-entries
● please cancel your visit if you are feeling unwell or have otherwise been advised to quarantine
● complete our check-in form upon arrival and check out at departure
● comply with PHO orders
● use of masks is encouraged
● use hand sanitization stations provided throughout the building
● maintain physical distancing from others outside of your group as best as you can

The Museum’s health and safety protocols follow the latest health and safety measures as outlined by government agencies, and may change to reflect the most recent PHO orders and updates, including proof of vaccination requirements.