rennie museum is pleased to present our penultimate exhibition in the historic Wing Sang building. Spring 2022: Collected Works is a group exhibition on the potency of photography featuring the work of three influential artists—Larry Clark, Katy Grannan and Andres Serrano. The exhibition runs from March 12 to May 28, 2022.

In less than half a generation, the prevalence of mobile phone cameras brought the ubiquity of photography into everyone’s every day and the advent of social media platforms made sharing on a global scale readily accessible. Long before our current state of visual overload, the revelatory photographs presented in this exhibition exposed lives and fomented conversations that have not always been acknowledged.

Larry Clark
I knew I was making groundbreaking photographs because I had never seen images like that before […] In a way, it’s a record of my secret teenage life”

The 50 photos in the Tulsa (1980) portfolio were taken in the 1960s over a period of seven years and document what Larry Clark calls his ‘outlaw life’ with his friends in his hometown. The images of adolescent drug use, sex and gunplay, first printed in a book in 1971, shocked viewers with its depictions of suburban American youths next door. Clark was not just a voyeur, but a participant. The honesty and vulnerability in his raw, unflinching, and confessional pioneering style would come to influence other noted artists and filmmakers.

Katy Grannan
It’s important that the photograph describes a particular subject, but it also has to speak to something much larger,
so that the viewer has the sense of a shared history; they’re portraits of all of us

Finding connections to strangers and allowing them to determine their own poses, Katy Grannan describes her portraiture photography as a kind of collaboration with her subjects. The 24 photographs from the ‘Gail and Dale’ series invite the viewer into the romantic escapism of two middle-aged transgendered best friends mimicking their version of a quaintly dated femininity that is at once nostalgic and poignant. These “new pioneers” as Grannan describes them are photographed in the setting of the American West, a region fabled as the land of reinvention. The same unrelentingly natural light that bathes over the duo also shines on the subjects in Grannan’s ‘The 99’ series. The large-scale portraits of “anonymous people” were photographed under the intense midday sun in fringe towns along Highway 99 in California’s Central Valley. From a grouping of 50 photos held in rennie collection, the 33 images on exhibit reveal that though on the margins of society and often showing traces of their harsh existence, Grannan’s subjects display a dignity that cuts through the unforgiving reality.

Andres Serrano
That’s what happens when you do work that is emotionally provocative, it polarizes people on both sides of the fence

For nearly four decades, the subject matters of Andres Serrano’s photographs—religion, death, torture, sex and race as presented in this exhibition—have elicited strong reactions and heated debates. Although his art has drawn notable controversy and can be described as provocative or transgressive, it is equally accurate to describe them as personal. They are not always intended to shock. For Serrano, his photographs are open for interpretation to some degree with viewers bringing their own narratives. He likens his work to a mirror that reveals itself in different ways to different people.

At this tumultuous time in our world, this exhibition invites a (re)viewing of the seminal photographs of three diverse artists through their distinctive lens. Each demonstrates an unequivocal singular style, and all imbue an emphatic conviction into the photographic medium that turns the photograph into a vessel of transformation and revelation.

This exhibition includes images and content that some may find offensive:
depictions of violence and suffering related to torture; death; adolescent drug use and gunplay; sex; religious references; white supremacism.

Larry Clark (USA, b. 1943) is a photographer, writer, film director and producer. A recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts’ Photographer’s Fellowship in 1973, his work is held in the collections of numerous museums including Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; Museum of Modern Art, NY; Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Houston Museum of Fine Arts; and Frankfurt Museum für Moderne Kunst. In 2010 the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris held a retrospective of Clark’s work. He lives and works in New York.

Katy Grannan (USA, b. 1969) is a photographer and filmmaker. In addition to the 2004 Whitney Biennial, she has had major exhibitions in many museums globally including Los Angeles County Museum of Art; CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco; Museum of Modern Art, NY; International Center for Photography, NY; FOAM, Amsterdam; and Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. She lives and works near San Francisco.

Andres Serrano (USA, b. 1950) has exhibited at institutions worldwide. His work is in many museums including Museum of Modern Art, NY; Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Art Institute of Chicago; Institute of Contemporary Art, Amsterdam; CAPC musée d’art contemporain, Bordeaux; Centro Cultural Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City; Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Sevilla, Spain; and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid.

rennie museum opened in October 2009 in historic Wing Sang, the oldest structure in Vancouver’s Chinatown, to feature dynamic exhibitions of art drawn exclusively from rennie collection. Showcasing works by emerging and established international artists, the exhibits, accompanied by supporting catalogues, are open free to the public.

rennie collection is a globally recognized collection of contemporary art that focuses on issues related to identity, social commentary and injustice, with works that interrogate the nature of painting, photography, sculpture, film and appropriation. Currently the collection includes works by more than 370 emerging and established artists, with over fifty collected in depth. The Vancouver based collection engages actively with museums globally through a robust, artist-centric, lending program and by organizing touring exhibitions.