Takao Tanabe Print Release

May 27, 2023, 2—4 pm

Join us to celebrate the release of the newest print in our Artist Editions Program, supported by Simons. Created by Takao Tanabe and printed with New Leaf Editions, Cormorant Island is a 2-plate photogravure print. Wine generously donated by LaStella Winery and Le Vieux Pin will be served. The artist will be in attendance.

All proceeds from the print sales support the West Vancouver Art Museum.

Please RSVP to attend.

Print details

Takao Tanabe
Cormorant Island, 2023
$5600, unframed
2-plate polymer photogravure
68 x 112 cm
Edition of 25
Printed by Peter Braune and Sarah Madgin, New Leaf Editions, Vancouver.

About the print

Takao Tanabe’s depictions of the coast of British Columbia are visual essays about the relationship between the land, the water and the sky. Cormorant Island, like all these masterful images, is activated by Tanabe’s sensitive depiction of the light that pervades the coastal region. Based on Tanabe’s 2015 canvas, Cormorant Island, Looking South, the print is a spectacular two-plate, five colour photogravure, produced on polymer plates.

The subject is a deserted rocky beach, a rocky point and islands beyond in the waters off the island, site of the Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw village of Yalis (Alert Bay). The image does not, however, hint of the human presence on Cormorant Island, but depicts the timeless beauty of the coast and the perpetual interplay of land, sea and sky.

The landscape is flooded by a subtle light which streams into the image from the right. This gentle illumination suggests the moist atmosphere of the region. Our eyes are delighted by the shadows and rocks in the foreground and the shifting patterns of water and land masses that lead the eye into the distance. The landscape is profoundly still and yet the print, Cormorant Island, is visually alive. We are there with Tanabe and the view vibrates with the life of the natural world. It is a remarkable example of Tanabe’s artistry and testament to the enormous skills of the printers, Peter Braune, New Leaf Editions and his assistant, Sarah Madgin.

Ian M. Thom

About the Artist

Born in Prince Rupert in 1926, Tanabe was interned with his family during the Second World War in Lemon Creek, B.C.. After the war, he joined some of his siblings in Winnipeg, where he attended the Winnipeg School of Art from 1946 to 1949, and then went on to continue his studies at the Brooklyn Museum Art School. The Emily Carr Scholarship enabled him to study and travel in Europe in 1953 and a Canada Council grant helped to support him for two years while studying in Japan beginning in 1959. In 1962, he settled in West Vancouver, living in a modern house designed by Peter Baker. In 1973, after spending four years in New York City, Tanabe became the head of the painting program at the Banff School of Fine Arts (now the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity), living and working there until 1980, when he moved to Vancouver Island, where he lives now.

Tanabe’s work is held in important national and international public and private collections, including the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Art Gallery of Ontario, Audain Art Museum, Canada Council Art Bank, Glenbow Museum, McMaster Museum of Art, National Gallery of Canada, Tate Museum, Vancouver Art Gallery, as well as the commercial collections of Jarislowsky Fraser Ltd., Scotiabank, and UBS Canada Inc.. Tanabe is the recipient of several honorary degrees and awards including the Order of British Columbia (1993), Order of Canada (Member, 1999), the Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts (2003), and the Audain Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts (2013).

Generously supported by Simons



Wine by La Stella and Le Vieux Pin