Presentation House Gallery
The Polygon Gallery
333 Chesterfield Avenue
North Vancouver, BC V7M 3G9

Kelly Lycan: Underglow

A conversation between Kelly Lycan and Liz Magor: Thursday, November 6,  7PM.
A conversation between Kelly Lycan and artist Liz Magor, preceded by a walk through tour of Underglow by Kelly Lycan. The discussion will consider the concepts that informed Underglow in relation to Lycan and other artists’ practices.


Presentation House Gallery is pleased to announce Underglow, an exhibition of new works by Vancouver artist Kelly Lycan. Designed in response to the Gallery’s architecture, Lycan’s exhibition reflects on the growing impact of digital imagery on the display and reproduction of photographs.

Underglow features a full-scale replica of Gallery 291, the iconic New York photography gallery opened by Alfred Steiglitz in 1905. As home to the Photo-Secessionists, 291 became renowned as the first exhibition space to showcase photography as art, and introduced many European avant-garde artists to America. Lycan’s structure mimics a black and white photograph taken by Alfred Stieglitz of a 1906 exhibition at 291. Viewers are invited to walk through a simulation of the photographic illusion of this gallery space, complete with Victorian decorative elements including curtained wainscotting and burlap walls – everything except pictures on the walls.

Lycan has also created interventions in Presentation House Gallery that frame the impact of display methods on our reception of art and the roles of institutions in the production of cultural histories. The temporal hybrids and spatial alterations – photographic details of modernist gallery architecture and architectural elements from the Gallery’s past – disrupt a passive experience of representation. Lycan draws attention to the interplay between systems of representation and perceptual experience. Underglow offers an opportunity to consider the impact of architectural design for viewing art, and raises provocative questions about the medium of photography today.

Kelly Lycan lives and works in Vancouver. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 1992, and her Master of Fine Arts from the University of California, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles in 1998. Her work has been exhibited in exhibitions across Canada, the US and Europe, including solo presentations at SFU Gallery, Burnaby, 2014; Or Gallery, Vancouver, 2011 and Gallery TPW, Toronto, 2009. She is a member of Instant Coffee, a service-oriented artist collective.

Generous support of the exhibition provided by Scenic Oasis Film Inc.
  • Alfred Stieglitz, installation view of the Gertrude Käsebier and Clarence H. White exhibition at Gallery 291, New York City, 1906. Reproduction of the photogravure originally published in "Camera Work, No. 14," 1906.

  • 291, From the Faraway Nearby

  • Installation views of "I Walked Into a Moment"

  • Instalation view of "Approximations, PHG 1985-2005"