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ART 210 (Contemporary Art in Canada) Course Guide: Home

A course guide intended to help students start their research for Art 210

In this guide

The following guide provides you with art books, ebooks, and online resources to help you get started with your research. For additional help finding sources, ask a librarian! 

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Contact: 604-683-8360 ext. 254

New Art Books

Unsettling Native Art Histories of the Northwest Coast

This edited collection focuses on "unsettling" Northwest Coast art studies, bringing forward voices that uphold Indigenous priorities, engage with past and ongoing effects of settler colonialism, and advocate for practices for more accountable scholarship.

Where the Power Is: Indigenous Perspectives on Northwest Coast Art 

This book brings together contemporary Indigenous knowledge holders with extraordinary works of historical Northwest Coast art that transcend the category of “art” or “artifact” and embody distinct ways of knowing and being in the world.

Gu Xiong : The Remains of a Journey 

Contemporary artist Gu Xiong produced a series of multimedia works to revive five historic sites that bear the untold struggles of the Chinese migrants in British Columbia.


People Among the People: The Public Art of Susan Point 

People Among the People beautifully displays the breadth of Susan Point's public art, from cast-iron manhole covers to massive carved cedar spindle whorls, installed in locations from Vancouver to Zurich.

The Way Home

Drawing on memory, legend, and his own art, Neel recounts his struggle to reconnect with his culture and become an accomplished Kwakwaka’wakw artist. His memoir is a testament to the strength of the human spirit to overcome great obstacles and to the power and endurance of Indigenous culture and art.

Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists

Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists explores the artistic achievements of Native women and establishes their rightful place in the art world.

The Land We Are : Artists & Writers Unsettle the Politics of Reconciliation

The result of a four-year collaboration between artists and scholars engaged in resurgence and decolonization, The Land We Are is a moving dialogue that blurs the boundaries between activism, research, and the arts.

Ningiukulu Teevee: Drawings and Prints from Cape Dorest

Contains an essay about Inuit artist Ningiukulu Teevee and more than 70 color reproductions of Teevee's drawings and prints.

E.J. Hughes Paints British Columbia

A retrospective on one of BC's most famous artists that features beautifully reproduced landscape paintings from all over mainland BC, and unveils new photographs, sketches, and ephemera from the artist's estate.

Don Proch: Masking and Mapping

Since 1970, Manitoba artist Don Proch has built an astonishing body of work evoking a semi-mythical Prairie past and an unsettled and unresolved modernity. In his complex sculptures and life-size masks, Proch combines intricate draftsmanship with natural and found materials in surprising and transformative ways.

Everything is Relevant: Writings on Art and Life, 1991-2018

Everything is Relevant: Writings on Art and Life, 1991-2018 brings together texts by Canadian artist Ken Lum. They include a letter to an editor, diary entries, articles, catalogue essays, curatorial statements, and more. Along the way, the reader learns about late modern, postmodern, and contemporary art practices, as well as debates around issues like race, class, and monumentality.

Out of the Woods: Woodworkers Along the Salish Sea

Out of the Woods profiles twenty-six dynamic artists who use wood to create an amazing range of work. Although they have diverse backgrounds and practices, these woodworkers place importance on sustainability, preservation of wild places, and respect for natural materials.

Dana Claxton: Fringing the Cube

Known for her expansive multidisciplinary approach to art making Vancouver-based Dana Claxton, who is Hunkpapa Lakota (Sioux), has investigated notions of Indigenous identity, beauty, gender and the body, as well as broader social and political issues through a practice which encompasses photography, film, video and performance.

Susan Point: Works on Paper

This is the first book devoted exclusively to Susan Point's works on paper.

Seekers and Travellers: Contemporary Art of the Pacific Northwest Coast

A celebration of contemporary northwest coast art, showcasing the works of thirty-six acclaimed artists of Canada and the U.S.

Mythic Beings: Spirit Art of the Northwest Coast

Mythic Beings presents an outstanding collection of 75 works - all in vivid colour - by 34 of the best First Nations artists working on the Northwest Coast today. The power of their art comes from its deep roots in an ancient culture that is rich in ceremonial and aesthetic traditions.

What Are You Looking At?

Takes the reader on a captivating tour of modern art from Impressionism to the present day, telling the story of the movements, the artists and the wonderful works that changed art forever.

Making History: The IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts

Written by scholars actively producing Native art resources, this book guides readers-students, educators, collectors, and the public-in how to learn about Indigenous cultures as visualized in our creative endeavors. These essays present a best-practices approach to understanding Indigenous art from a Native-centric point of view. 

Negotiations in a Vacant Lot
Bringing together the work of scholars from diverse backgrounds and illustrated with dozens of works of Canadian art, Negotiations in a Vacant Lot unsettles the way we have used "nation" to examine art and culture and looks ahead to a global future.

Vancouver Anthology

Includes essays on the emergence of artist-run centres, experimental performance and video, feminist activity, collaboration, sculpture, painting, art criticism, conceptual art and landscape, and reflections on perceptions of aboriginal cultures.

Indians Playing Indian​
In Indians Playing Indian, Monika Siebert explores the appropriation, or misappropriation, of Native American cultural heritage for political and commercial ends, and the innovative ways in which indigenous artists in a range of media have responded to these developments.

Themes of Contemporary Art
Themes of Contemporary Art: Visual Art after 1980 is a unique introduction to eight important themes that have recurred in art over the past few decades-identity, the body, time, memory, place, language, science, and spirituality. 

Vera Frenkel

The first extensive survey of the most important works by Czech-born Canadian artist Vera Frenkel.

Place, Nations, Generations, Beings

Included are images of nearly 100 works—basketry, beadwork, drawings, photography, pottery, textiles, and wood carving, from the early 1800s to the present day. The objects are grouped into four sections, each introduced with a short essay, that center on the themes in the book’s title.

Alex Janvier

Alex Janvier is one the most significant aboriginal artists in Canada. This book celebrates Alex Janvier's work, includes images from a recent exhibition and essays by scholars. 

Carrying on Irregardless: Humour in Contemporary Northwest Coast Art

Collected here are artworks that act as political weapons, bold challenges to stereotypes, and nods to the Trickster. They satirize, ridicule and play. And, above all, they make us laugh, and think, and laugh again.

SakKijâjuk: Art and Craft from Nunatsiavut

The book features over 80 reproductions of work by 45 different Inuit artists, profiles of the featured artists, and a major essay on the art of Nunatsiavut.

Embracing Canada: Landscapes from Krieghoff to the Group of Seven

Embracing Canada: Landscapes from Krieghoff to The Group of Seven presents a comprehensive survey of Canadian landscapes made between the mid-eighteenth and mid- nineteenth centuries.

Douglas Coupland: Everywhere is anywhere is anything is everything

Published in conjunction with 'Douglas Coupland: everywhere is anywhere is anything is everything', an exhibition organised by the Vancouver Art Gallery and curated by Diana Augatis.

Key Resources

Free Online Art Books