Vancouver Art Gallery presents Offsite: Elizabeth Zvonar

Elizabeth Zvonar, The Experience, 2015. Site-specific installation at Vancouver Art Gallery Offsite. Courtesy Rachel Topham, Vancouver Art Gallery.

Offsite: Elizabeth Zvonar

November 5, 2015–April 15, 2016

Artist’s talk: January 13, 7–9pm
Shangri-La Hotel, Blue Moon Theatre, 6th Floor

Vancouver Art Gallery Offsite
1128 West Georgia Street
Vancouver BC V6E 0A8

Vancouver artist Elizabeth Zvonar conjures romantic sentiment and melancholic undertones in The Experience, a bleached-out collage boldly positioned in downtown Vancouver during the dreary winter months.

Combining materials and strategies used in advertising, the site-specific public artwork draws tangential connections between thoughtful inquiry and advertorial amusement. A pair of sunglasses is placed in the foreground of a celestial landscape from Mars, creating a scene that reads like a postcard from the future. The 105-square-metre digital collage is accentuated with gel-filtered lighting and framed by a reflective pool of water.

In The Experience, Zvonar continues her practice of appropriating imagery from various sources, including advertising, fashion photography and modern science. She amplifies the digital design of her hand-cut collage by dramatically increasing its scale and using theatrical lighting to produce an environment that shifts from a space of entertainment to one of examination. In its totality, The Experience combines classic summer imagery with references to hippie ideals of the 1970s psychedelic music scene, forming a new hybrid that ultimately prompts viewers to reconsider the limits of temporal reality.

About the artist
Vancouver artist Elizabeth Zvonar (b. 1972) graduated from Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 2001. Her collage works are composed of source materials drawn from art historical references, contemporary advertising and popular culture. They question existing social and cultural systems through the use of humour and irony. Her work often speaks to the ethos and aspirations of those among the periphery of mainstream society, drawing inspiration from counterculture movements that challenge the status quo. Zvonar treats imagery as a metaphor, establishing a referential context that calls into question popular conceptions and historical canons to address cultural constructions of power. She often uses a feminist perspective to illustrate how rules of engagement were unbalanced in the past and remain so today.

Zvonar has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions throughout Canada and internationally in New York, Australia, Japan and Belgium. In 2008, Zvonar was the inaugural artist at the Malaspina Print Research Residency and was an artist-in-residence at the Banff Centre for the thematic residency Cosmic Ray Research. She received the 2009 City of Vancouver Mayor’s Award for Emerging Visual Artist; in 2011, she was presented with the Emily Award for outstanding achievement by an Emily Carr alumna and was the 2015 recipient of the Shadbolt Foundation’s VIVA award. Zvonar is represented by Daniel Faria Gallery in Toronto.

Offsite, the Vancouver Art Gallery’s outdoor exhibition space, was launched in 2009. There have been 12 public artworks commissioned specifically for the site including sculpture, film, ceramic and photo-based installations. Offsite is located at 1100 West Georgia Street between Thurlow and Bute Streets, west of the Shangri-La Hotel, in downtown Vancouver. It is curated by Diana Freundl, Associate Curator, Asian Art, Vancouver Art Gallery. 

Offsite: Elizabeth Zvonar is presented as part of MashUp: The Birth of Modern Culture, a major group exhibition tracing the history of mashup culture across diverse disciplines, presented at the Vancouver Art Gallery from February to June 2016. 

The Vancouver Art Gallery is a not-for-profit organization supported by its members, individual donors, corporate funders, foun­dations, the City of Vancouver, the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council, and the Canada Council for the Arts. We thank everyone for their continuing generosity.

Media Information:

Debra Zhou: T +604 662 4722 / M +604 671 2358 /

Vancouver Art Gallery presents Offsite: Elizabeth Zvonar

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