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Audain Art Museum

Whistler, British Columbia  |  Canada  | 

Audain Art Museum

Established in 2016, the Audain Art Museum is a leading arts organization founded upon the major philanthropic gift of Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa.

After years of collecting and living with the rich artistic heritage of the province they love, Michael and his wife Yoshiko decided to build a home for their private art collection to be enjoyed by the public. With the Fondation Maeght in southern France and the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark as their inspiration, Audain and Karasawa worked with award-winning architects John and Patricia Patkau to design the 56,000-square-foot Audain Art Museum.

Located in Whistler, British Columbia, on the shared, unceded territory of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) Nation and Lil̓wat7úl (Lil’wat) Nation, the Museum boasts a comprehensive Permanent Collection of the province’s most celebrated artists. Exemplifying the richness of cultural differences in Canada, the collection takes visitors on a transformative visual journey from the late 18th century to the present.

The building itself has garnered international recognition for its unique and striking design. The form and character of the building and interiors are deliberately restrained to provide a quiet, minimal backdrop to the art within the surrounding natural landscape. The simple form of the exterior is clad in an envelope of dark metal which recedes into the shadows of the surrounding forest. Where this envelope opens to reveal the entry porch or glazed walkway to the galleries, the metal is overlaid by a luminous wood casing.

Unprecedented in contemporary Northwest Coast art, hereditary Haida Chief 7idansuu (James Hart)’s elaborately carved cedar dance screen anchors the Collection. One of Hart’s most important works to date, the carving represents a strong connection to the traditions of the Haida. The Dance Screen (The Scream Too) emphasizes the fundamental role of the salmon within Haida society and ecosystems. Many of the figures are shown speaking or calling out, acknowledging concern for the salmon who are threatened by environmental factors. Both a barrier and a doorway, the work declares the existence of both the spirit and human realms. When danced, the screen allows for a transition between these two realms. Hart also positions this major Haida artistic achievement within an uncommon postmodern context with reference to the iconic artwork by Edvard Munch, The Scream. This positioning makes a statement about traditional Haida life and culture, both past and present.

Additional highlights from the Permanent Collection include an exceptional assortment of historical Indigenous masks, a comprehensive selection of paintings by Emily Carr, and key examples of the Vancouver photo conceptualism movement. In addition, the Museum displays up to three special exhibitions each year, encompassing a variety of mediums, themes, artists and time periods. Special exhibitions produced either in-house or on loan from other institutions are intended to enrich the museum experience and generate new perspectives on the Permanent Collection.

 

For more information about the Audain Art Museum, visit this post by the Independent Collectors.

Ian Wallace, 'In the Street (Rue Turenne, Paris)', 1997, photolaminate with acrylic and serigraph on canvas, Audain Art Museum Collection, gift of the Artist. Ian Wallace, 'In the Street (Rue Charlot, Paris)', 1997, photolaminate with acrylic and serigraph on canvas, Audain Art Museum Collection, gift of Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa. Bill Reid, 'Dogfish Lady', c. 1996, bronze with jade green patina, Audain Art Museum Collection, gift of Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa. Photo: Scott Brammer Photography
Ian Wallace, 'In the Street (Rue Turenne, Paris)', 1997, photolaminate with acrylic and serigraph on canvas, Audain Art Museum Collection, gift of the Artist. Ian Wallace, 'In the Street (Rue Charlot, Paris)', 1997, photolaminate with acrylic and serigraph on canvas, Audain Art Museum Collection, gift of Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa. Bill Reid, 'Dogfish Lady', c. 1996, bronze with jade green patina, Audain Art Museum Collection, gift of Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa. Photo: Scott Brammer Photography
Audain Art Museum. Artwork featured: Xwalacktun, 'He-yay meymuy (Big Flood)' (detail), 2014-15, aluminum with LED lights, Audain Art Museum Collection, Purchased with funds from the Audain Foundation. Photo: RAEF.ca
Audain Art Museum. Artwork featured: Xwalacktun, 'He-yay meymuy (Big Flood)' (detail), 2014-15, aluminum with LED lights, Audain Art Museum Collection, Purchased with funds from the Audain Foundation. Photo: RAEF.ca
Dempsey Bob, 'Northern Eagles Transformation Mask,' 2011, yellow cedar and acrylic paint, Audain Art Museum Collection, Gift of Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa, Trevor Mills Photography
Dempsey Bob, 'Northern Eagles Transformation Mask,' 2011, yellow cedar and acrylic paint, Audain Art Museum Collection, Gift of Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa, Trevor Mills Photography
Bill Reid, 'Killer Whale', 1984, bronze, Audain Art Museum Collection, gift of Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa. Takao Tanabe, 'Strait of Georgia 1/90: Raza Pass', 1990, acrylic on canvas, Audain Art Museum Collection, gift of Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa. Photo: Scott Brammer Photography
Bill Reid, 'Killer Whale', 1984, bronze, Audain Art Museum Collection, gift of Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa. Takao Tanabe, 'Strait of Georgia 1/90: Raza Pass', 1990, acrylic on canvas, Audain Art Museum Collection, gift of Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa. Photo: Scott Brammer Photography
Installation view of the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation Gallery, featuring works of Emily Carr and several historical Indigenous works. Photo: Scott Brammer Photography
Installation view of the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation Gallery, featuring works of Emily Carr and several historical Indigenous works. Photo: Scott Brammer Photography
James Hart, 'The Dance Screen (The Scream Too)' (detail), 2010-2013, red cedar panel with abalone, mica, acrylic, wire and yew wood. Audain Art Museum Collection, gift of Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa. Photo: Bob Frid
James Hart, 'The Dance Screen (The Scream Too)' (detail), 2010-2013, red cedar panel with abalone, mica, acrylic, wire and yew wood. Audain Art Museum Collection, gift of Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa. Photo: Bob Frid
Installation view of the Barbeau-Owen Gallery featuring works of E.J. Hughes. Photo: Scott Brammer Photography
Installation view of the Barbeau-Owen Gallery featuring works of E.J. Hughes. Photo: Scott Brammer Photography
Joseph Tisiga, 'A Prop for Reconciliation (Dilton)', 2017, oil on canvas, mounted on artificial grass and wood panel, Audain Art Museum Collection, purchased with funds from the Audain Foundation. Jay Simeon, 'Sea Wolf and Killer Whale Mask', 2008, alder with cedar bark, holly wood, paua shell and copper, Audain Art Museum Collection, gift of Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa. Kim Dorland, 'Last Light', 2019, oil on canvas, Audain Art Museum Collection, purchased with funds from the Audain Foundation Photo: Scott Brammer Photography
Joseph Tisiga, 'A Prop for Reconciliation (Dilton)', 2017, oil on canvas, mounted on artificial grass and wood panel, Audain Art Museum Collection, purchased with funds from the Audain Foundation. Jay Simeon, 'Sea Wolf and Killer Whale Mask', 2008, alder with cedar bark, holly wood, paua shell and copper, Audain Art Museum Collection, gift of Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa. Kim Dorland, 'Last Light', 2019, oil on canvas, Audain Art Museum Collection, purchased with funds from the Audain Foundation Photo: Scott Brammer Photography
Audain Art Museum. Photo: Scott Brammer Photography
Audain Art Museum. Photo: Scott Brammer Photography
Audain Art Museum. Photo: RAEF.ca
Audain Art Museum. Photo: RAEF.ca
Freda Diesing, 'Old Woman with Labret', 1973, alder, cedar bark, hair, abalone and paint, Audain Art Museum Collection, purchased with funds from the Audain Foundation. Haida First Nation, 'Bentwood Box', c. 1860-1880, wood, paint, Audain Art Museum Collection, gift of Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa. James Hart, 'Untitled (totem pole)', 2006-2010, yellow cedar, Audain Art Museum Collection, gift of Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa. Photo: Scott Brammer Photography
Freda Diesing, 'Old Woman with Labret', 1973, alder, cedar bark, hair, abalone and paint, Audain Art Museum Collection, purchased with funds from the Audain Foundation. Haida First Nation, 'Bentwood Box', c. 1860-1880, wood, paint, Audain Art Museum Collection, gift of Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa. James Hart, 'Untitled (totem pole)', 2006-2010, yellow cedar, Audain Art Museum Collection, gift of Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa. Photo: Scott Brammer Photography
Audain Art Museum. Photo: Mirae Campbell
Audain Art Museum. Photo: Mirae Campbell
Sonny Assu, 'Silenced: The Hidden', 2011, animal hide and wood. Audain Art Museum Collection, gift of Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa. 
Russna Kaur, 'They are midway between the sun and the moon', 2020, acrylic, cold wax, sand cut canvas, pastel on wood panel, canvas, raw silk and cotton. Audain Art Museum Collection
 purchased with funds from the Audain Art Acquisition Fund. Andrew Dadson, 'White Tree', 2017, milk paint, biodegradable earth pigments, chalk, limestone, trees, and plants, inkjet print mounted on Dibond
edition 2 of 3 +1 AP. Audain Art Museum Collection, gift of the Artist. Photo: Scott Brammer Photography
Sonny Assu, 'Silenced: The Hidden', 2011, animal hide and wood. Audain Art Museum Collection, gift of Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa. 
Russna Kaur, 'They are midway between the sun and the moon', 2020, acrylic, cold wax, sand cut canvas, pastel on wood panel, canvas, raw silk and cotton. Audain Art Museum Collection
 purchased with funds from the Audain Art Acquisition Fund. Andrew Dadson, 'White Tree', 2017, milk paint, biodegradable earth pigments, chalk, limestone, trees, and plants, inkjet print mounted on Dibond
edition 2 of 3 +1 AP. Audain Art Museum Collection, gift of the Artist. Photo: Scott Brammer Photography
Don Yeomans, 'Raven and Frog Panel', 2006/07, red cedar, pigment, Audain Art Museum Collection, gift of Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa. Willie Seaweed, 'Copper', c. 20th century, copper, pigment, Audain Art Museum Collection, gift of Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa. Marianne Nicolson, 'Tunic for a Noblewoman: In Memory of Wadzidalaga', 2009, acrylic on wood with brass, copper, silver and abalone, Audain Art Museum Collection, gift of Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa. Photo: Scott Brammer Photography
Don Yeomans, 'Raven and Frog Panel', 2006/07, red cedar, pigment, Audain Art Museum Collection, gift of Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa. Willie Seaweed, 'Copper', c. 20th century, copper, pigment, Audain Art Museum Collection, gift of Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa. Marianne Nicolson, 'Tunic for a Noblewoman: In Memory of Wadzidalaga', 2009, acrylic on wood with brass, copper, silver and abalone, Audain Art Museum Collection, gift of Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa. Photo: Scott Brammer Photography
Installation view of Permanent Collection galleries. Photo: Scott Brammer Photography
Installation view of Permanent Collection galleries. Photo: Scott Brammer Photography
Installation view of Permanent Collection galleries. Photo: Scott Brammer Photography
Installation view of Permanent Collection galleries. Photo: Scott Brammer Photography
Joe Seaweed, 'Untitled (Gadaxanis mask)', date unknown
wood, pigment, Audain Art Museum Collection, gift of Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa. Levi Nelson, 'Nations in an Urban Landscape', 2019, oil on canvas, Audain Art Museum Collection, purchased with funds from the Bruno Family. Photo: Scott Brammer Photography
Joe Seaweed, 'Untitled (Gadaxanis mask)', date unknown
wood, pigment, Audain Art Museum Collection, gift of Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa. Levi Nelson, 'Nations in an Urban Landscape', 2019, oil on canvas, Audain Art Museum Collection, purchased with funds from the Bruno Family. Photo: Scott Brammer Photography
Installation shot of the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation Gallery, which features the works of Emily Carr. Photo: Scott Brammer Photography
Installation shot of the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation Gallery, which features the works of Emily Carr. Photo: Scott Brammer Photography
Installation view of Permanent Collection galleries. Photo: Scott Brammer Photography
Installation view of Permanent Collection galleries. Photo: Scott Brammer Photography
Installation view of the Chrystal Gallery. Photo: RAEF.ca
Installation view of the Chrystal Gallery. Photo: RAEF.ca
James Hart, 'The Three Watchmen', c. 2021, bronze with red ocher patina, Audain Art Museum Collection, funded by the Audain Foundation. Xwalacktun and Levi Nelson, 'Ti A7xa7 St'ak' (The Great Flood)', 2021, waterjet cut aluminum and concrete, Audain Art Museum Collection, funded by the Audain Foundation. Photo: Scott Brammer Photography
James Hart, 'The Three Watchmen', c. 2021, bronze with red ocher patina, Audain Art Museum Collection, funded by the Audain Foundation. Xwalacktun and Levi Nelson, 'Ti A7xa7 St'ak' (The Great Flood)', 2021, waterjet cut aluminum and concrete, Audain Art Museum Collection, funded by the Audain Foundation. Photo: Scott Brammer Photography
Winter Exterior. Photo: Abby Cooper
Winter Exterior. Photo: Abby Cooper

All images courtesy of the Audain Art Museum