Most of the 75 posters in the show are drawn from the gallery's permanent collection. They were made by some 60 artists, including the Second World War Canadian Army artist Jack Shadbolt, the eccentric U.K. duo Gilbert and George, the New York feminist group Guerrilla Girls and the multi-disciplinary Vancouver artist Rodney Graham.
"Posters created or initiated by artists, as opposed to design professionals, often reflect a unique sensibility," said gallery director Darrin Martens. "With a lot of artists' posters, they're works of art in themselves."
The Gilbert and George posters, for example, were created for the pair's major retrospective at London's Tate Modern gallery. Each poster in the six-part series in the Burnaby show is signed by the artists.
A 12-poster series by Montreal-based Sonny Assu, in support of the Idle No More movement, was specially commissioned for the exhibition. Each one highlights a quote attributed to the early 20th-century federal bureaucrat Duncan Campbell Scott: "The happiest future for the Indian race is absorption into the general population. This is the policy of our government."
The Artist Poster Show runs Feb. 8 to April 7.