Renée Van Halm   Dream Home

June 22, 2002 - August 18, 2002

Organized by the Southern Alberta Art Gallery in collaboration with the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver and the Kamloops Art Gallery. Funding assistance from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts.

The artist exhibited three works: Dream House, listings, and Taste. The first two arise from her fascination with houses depicted in Vancouver’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS), a database for prospective purchasers of houses and condominiums in the city. Dream House is a sculptural installation based on the largest and smallest individual units for sale on a given day last year. Utilizing the architectural plans as a starting point Van Halm has produced scale models of the homes, recreating each room as a small monochromatically painted wooden facsimile.

Listings is a suite of fastidiously rendered watercolours, also the product of source material provided by MLS. In these images Van Halm has employed the perspective and aerial views of a number of houses for sale, reproducing them as evocative, romanticized, home portraits. The artist’s reworking point out how monumental realizations of leisure class and social standing are often steeped in nostalgia, constructed through the architecture of historic revivalism, while more modest, smaller dwellings must utilize modernist notions of simplicity, utility and streamlined efficiency. Taste documents colour use throughout the home during the 20th century. This work comprises 100 elliptical disks each painted a different colour that refers to an object, fabric or paint colour in use during a particular era. The exhibition also included a selection of Van Halm’s inventory of painted studies of interiors.

Van Halm studied at the Emily Carr institute of Art and Design and completed an MFA at Concordia University.


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