Michael Morris at the Belkin Art Gallery

Canadian art can be confusing. Sometimes it feels like there was the Group of 7 and then we were left with Inukshuks and native prints.

But lots of great Canadian art has been made in the intervening years, and the Morris & Helen Belkin Art Gallery at UBC is one of the places that choose to feature it.

Since moving to Vancouver, I’ve been meaning to get out there and finally made it last weekend to see Letters: Michael Morris and Concrete Poetry. I knew nothing of Morris’ work and left impressed by what he accomplished in the 60’s and 70’s using just type and basic materials.

In the main rooms were a series of “letters”: vertical lines arranged on screens.

Several of the works were interesting explorations of type:

The works weren’t all Canadian. The ¬†Czech Jiri Kolar’s Untitled¬†was a 3d exploration of type:

While Emmett Williams’ 13 Variations explored what happened if you double the number of words on a page repeatedly. It’s a great illustration of exponential growth: