1947 | Exterior of the Marine Building – 355 Burrard Street – Leonard Frank, Bu P346

1975 | Marine Building & Guinness Tower, CVA 293-75

Graham Winter | Marine Building, oil on canvas, 30 x 60 cm, 2010

Graham Winter | Guinness Tower, oil on canvas, 30 x 60 cm, 2010

Architecture, history, archives, and art: what a splendid combination.

Artist Graham Winter combines all four in his current show, “Edifice,” at the new gallery space at the City of Vancouver Archives.

Winter’s love of the built environment shines through in this series of ten 30 x 60 cm oil on canvas paintings of iconic Vancouver buildings.

This is an artist who seems thoroughly engaged with the history of early-to-mid-20th century architecture. His hyperrealist style (think Tiko Kerr without the hallucinations) is shockingly vivid. Only the inclusion of strategically placed birds define scale and humanize the structures in many of these canvases.

This is a perfect show for showing off the Archives’ new gallery space.

The city’s archivists have chosen some intriguing historical photos, displayed on a telescreen, to enrich the context of Graham’s work. It’s a great collaboration amongst minds that think alike.

Graham Winter | The Bentall Buildings (detail), oil on canvas, 30 x 60 cm, 2010

Graham Winter | The Royal Bank Building (detail), oil on canvas, 30 x 60 cm, 2010

Graham Winter | Electra (details), oil on canvas, 30 x 60 cm, 2010

Graham Winter | MacMillan Bloedel Building, oil on canvas, 30 x 60 cm, 2010




The two works that stand out for me are, not surprisingly, two of my favourite mid-century buildings: The Electra (formerly the BC Electric Building by Sharp Thompson Berwick & Pratt, 1955) and the MacMillan Bloedel Building (Arthur Erickson, 1969). Unfortunately for me, these are the two buildings not featured in the exhibition’s complimentary set of eight post cards.

It is fantastic to find an artist keen on exploring Vancouver’s past and contemporizing these buildings for a new audience. The show is a small but classy event not to be missed by those who love architecture, history, archives, and art.


The show is up through 26 August 2010.




> click on the screenshot for Wikimapia directions:

Edifice by Graham Winter

2 June – 26 August 2010

City of Vancouver Archives Gallery

1150 Chestnut Street

Georgia Straight: Edifice: Exploring Art, Archives, and Architecture puts Vancouver’s Old Buildings in a New Light | PDF

Graham Winter | Official site

City of Vancouver Archives | “Edifice

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