If you happen to find yourself in London this Fall and if you have a romantic inclination you could do no better than going to the Tate Britain to attend the Edward Burne-Jones exhibition running from 24 October until 24 February 2019. Made up of more than 150 works including stained glass and tapestry, many designed for his friend and fellow social reformer William Morris, as well as portraits, gifts he made for family and friends, and a piano painted inside and out with scenes from the story of Orpheus and Eurydice, the centrepiece will be some of his most ambitious projects, the Briar Rose and Perseus cycles of paintings.
The Briar Rose paintings – each almost 3 metres long, illustrating the fairytale with the artist’s daughter, Margaret, as Sleeping Beauty – are still in the house for which they were bought in 1890. For the first time they are being loaned with the decorative panels Burne-Jones created to link the paintings on the walls of the Georgian saloon.
The client for the Perseus cycle had a harder time: the 26-year-old MP and future prime minister Arthur Balfour was required to block up windows and change doors to make room for a 10-painting telling of the Greek hero Perseus’s rescue of Andromeda. This exhibition marks the first time that the two cycles of paintings will be exhibited together.
Burne-Jones was a charter member of the Pre-Raphaelites a society determined to restore what they saw as the best art. Although Burne-Jones’s dreamy-eyed maidens and muscular heroes in melancholy romantic settings became some of the best-loved paintings in British art and influenced generations of artists including Pablo Picasso, this will be the first large exhibition in London in decades and the first at the Tate since 1933, the centenary of his birth. Many loans are from private collectors, including the Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page.
If you happen to find yourself in London…
The Glenbow Museum in Calgary is hosting what could turn out to be a fascinating series of exhibitions, The Artist’s Mirror: Self Portraits, running until January 6, 2019. The show is being mounted in partnership with Library and Archives Canada. This first edition will be followed up by more of the same. In this exhibition, featuring self-portraits from the collections of Library and Archives Canada and Glenbow, the legacy of the artist’s mirror lives on. Here artists are looking deeply at themselves, a practice reflected across a wide variety of media, artistic styles and time periods. From biographical self- expression to political commentary, the motivation behind creating a self-portrait is as diverse as the artists themselves.
As part of a five-year collaboration with Library and Archives Canada, Glenbow will host a series of exhibitions drawn from this national portrait collection. The inaugural exhibition features fascinating works by Emily Carr, Norval Morriseau, Yousuf Karsh, Alma Duncan and many others.
The Glenbow Museum in Calgary is hosting…
Going from the sublime to the tragic it may be time, as the world seems in danger of facing a major conflict, to revisit what war actually means and in that case the Art Gallery of Ontario is the place to be as they are hosting a mammoth exhibition, Photography: The First World War-1914-1918. The AGO holds 500 photographic albums depicting the First World War from all sides and because of the amount of material available divided it up in two like this. Part I: April 28 – October 28, 2018. Part II: November 10, 2018 – April 14, 2019.
Adjacent to the main display, the McEwen Gallery will showcase works by Australian war photographer James Francis “Frank” Hurley (1885–1962), who was on official assignment throughout World War I. His album Australian Units on the Western Front (1916–1918) presents a series of compelling photographs, each offering views of different aspects of life on the Front. Soldiers, in action and at ease, are pictured, as well as the grimmer realities of war: casualties, scorched landscapes, and destroyed architecture. The album — disassembled for the exhibition — highlights Hurley’s skill as a photographer and features a rich breadth of imagery.
Going from the sublime to the tragic it may be time…
Continuing right along with modernism The Montreal Museum of Fine Art is running: Alexander Calder: Radical Inventor, running from September 22, 2018 until February 23, 2019.
No matter which way you cut it Calder was an important artist. Montreal has a piece of his art, Les Trois disques, on St. Helene’s Island in the Parc Jean Drapeau that was given to the city after Expo 67. The sculpture consists of five overlapping stainless steel discs that have an arachnoid cast to them. It stands 22 metres, the second highest stabile Calder created. Trained as an engineer Calder created his first sculpture at the age of eleven.
During the 1920s, Alexander Calder developed his art among the artistic and intellectual circles of the day, mingling in Paris with the international avant-garde including figures such as Cocteau, Duchamp, Le Corbusier, Léger, Mondrian, Miró, Prévert and Varèse.
While you may not be familiar with Calder’s work you are probably familiar with the mobiles that are used as educational toys that hang over children’s cribs. No less a person than Marcel Duchamp named Calder’s kinetic sculptures Mobiles. While Jean Arp described his stationary sculptures as Stabiles. The exhibition consists of over a hundred works will be shown in Calder’s first Canadian retrospective. Calder is known as the man who set art in motion.
Continuing right along with modernism…
One of the nice things about Quebec City is that you never need a reason to go. Just the fact that its architecture and food exists is a good reason to visit.
The Musée des beaux-arts national du Quebec has mounted what looks like another excellent exhibition on one of Quebec’s pivotal artists, Marcel Barbeau In Movement, runs from October 11, 2018 until January 6, 2019.
A notable figure in contemporary Canadian art, Marcel Barbeau produced an impressive body of more than 4,000 works spanning seven decades. Intersecting several significant periods in the history of recent art, his output provides an overview as singular as it is insightful.
Barbeau was at the forefront of numerous avant-garde movements and artistic trends in Canada. He was a leading contributor to the first stirrings of Abstract painting was renowned internationally for his contribution to OpArt.
The Quebec show is the most ambitious retrospective on the artist to date. Works on display are from his entire career, from the 1940s to 2015.
One of the nice things about Quebec City…
If you happen to find yourself in Nova Scotia this Fall, and let me encourage you to go, the people are fantastic and the Cape Breton Highlands are a joy during Fall foliage season, make your way over to the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. Said Gallery is attempting to punch above its weight in the art world by mounting and touring world class exhibitions and the one I am about to tell you about qualifies as just that.
Hiroshige: The Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaido will be running through until March, 17, 2019. Utagawa Hiroshige (1797—1858) was a master of the traditional Japanese Ukiyo—e, a genre of art showing the thriving life of the Japanese middle class in the Edo period.
During the Edo period the Tōkaidō was Japan’s main highway. It linked the two capitals, Tokyo, then called Edo, and Kyoto. In view of the road’s importance, stages or stations were set up at strategic points where the traveller could find lodging, meals, and entertainment. Having travelled the Tōkaidō in 1831, Utagawa Hiroshige created a series of prints showing the fifty-three stages as well as the points of departure and arrival.
Woodcut printing was virtually the sole method of reproduction in Japan for nearly 1 200 years. During the eighteenth century it became indeed a popular method of reproduction as it allowed the printing of a large number of prints that could be sold at low prices. When Japan opened its doors to trade in the latter part of the nineteenth century, Japanese art, especially the print, spread throughout the world causing a sensation in artistic and literary circles in France and England. The revelation of Japan’s creativity breathed new freshness into Western art, and its influence continues to this day. The Hiroshige prints form a complete set from the original set first published in 1834. They are of great interest, not only as a complete set, but also as impressions from the original blocks. The set is in exceptional condition and has a unity that indicates that they were assembled as a group at the time of production rather than being brought together piecemeal at a later date. They are fantastic.
If you happen to find yourself in Nova Scotia…
In September 2017, the old Peterborough Brock Mission Shelter was torn down and demolished to make way for a new, bigger, brighter, three-storey shelter that will provide semi-independent living for 40 men in need, and create two separate housing spaces, one for Harm Reduction Strategies and the other for Addiction Treatment.
The Men’s Brock Mission Shelter closed last year because conditions were unsafe and relocated their program to a temporary venue at St Paul’s Presbyterian Church in Peterborough, Ontario. There is a need to raise 8 million dollars to build a new facility and Brock Mission has committed to raise one million dollars. MP Leslie Parnell, the current ward councillor of Otonabee, was given the challenge of raising the money, acutely aware how much the new facility for the Brock Mission was needed. The fundraising was launched at the Galerie Q venue. At this event, Councillor Leslie Parnell announced that Galerie Q was the prime sponsor of this fundraising initiative.
A wonderful and significant painting by Yvon Lemieux, “The Card Game” (La partie de cartes) was donated by Galerie Q to jumpstart the fundraising. The donated painting is a back yard scene set in Beauport, Québec. On a bright sunny afternoon, friends are sitting around a table playing cards while laundry hangs on a chord and children are playing outside. A pleasant and wonderful day is depicted, an image stemming from Yvon’s childhood memories. It reflects the way the Peterborough community draws together as a family to give help to the people that need it.
Ticket sales for the painting alone raised $16,000 and the Brock Mission Building Fund raised over $30,000, for a total so far of over $46,000. Galerie Q also provided a major billboard at a prime, high-traffic area as a visual reminder for people to donate and draw attention to the importance of this campaign for the Brock Mission. It was very successful and resulted in important donations to help the fund grow.
Galerie Q, 1521 County Road 10, Cavan, ON, L0A 1C0, 705-944-888
In September 2017, the old Peterborough…
The Vancouver Art gallery is running David Milne: Modern Painting from June 16 to September 16, 2018. Milne is one of those Canadian artists who deserves a higher profile because he is seldom known outside the cognoscenti and this is the travelling show that should do it.
The exhibition consists of almost 90 paintings and watercolours and traces the development of his unique style which originated in his work as a First World War battlefield artist where he developed a dry brush technique in watercolours because he had to work quickly. He would later use the compression techniques he developed as a war artist to his peacetime work in oils. Milne was one of the few Canadian artists who exhibited in the 1913 Armory Show in New York City.
The Vancouver Art gallery is running David Milne: Modern Painting…
Morrice was once described as the best North American painter on the international stage since the death of Whistler. In 1903 Morrice was the first Canadian artist to show at the Venice Biennale. Morrice lived from 1865 to 1924. In 1890 he moved to Paris to establish himself as a painter.
From Paris he would travel through France and eventually go to Morocco and the Caribbean in between returning home to Canada to paint. His work often portrayed the theatricality of modern life and one of his strengths was capturing atmospheric effects.
As a modernist Morrice compressed his subject matter as opposed to elaborating it but rather than adhere to any artistic dogma, he developed his own aesthetic. The exhibition consists of 49 paintings and watercolours. Prakash was a long time contributor to Magazin’art.
The Alberta Art Gallery is exhibiting the National Gallery’s…
Drawing is certainly on display this summer. The Art Gallery of Ontario is running Kathe Kollwitz: Art And Life from April 7 to September 30, 2018. Unlike, say the National Gallery’s summer blockbuster, the Kollwitz exhibition is not going to allow you to walk away feeling uplifted. Instead you will probably be depressed because much of the subject matter Kollwitz deals with is tragic.
That being said, you will walk away with a new found appreciation of just how powerful finely executed drawings can be. Kollwitz lived in Berlin from 1867 to 1945 and devoted herself to advocating change by chronicling the lives of the poor and the effects of war. She worked primarily in drawing, woodcuts, etchings, lithographs and sculpture.
While the press release fails to mention how many works will be on display it does note that they will appear in five different museum galleries and that thanks to a donation of 170 Kollwitz pieces the AGO has the largest Kollwitz collection outside of Germany. If you like drawing this is a show for you because they are very powerful works.
Drawing is certainly on display this summer…
Once again it’s the Return of the Impressionists. The Winnipeg Art Gallery is running two concurrent exhibitions, French Moderns: Monet to Matisse, 1850-1950 and The Impressionists on Paper from June 16, to September 9, 2018.
The first, French Moderns, consists of more than 60 works including those by Cassatt, Cézanne, Degas, Manet, Matisse, Monet, Morisot and Renoir among others. These come from the Brooklyn Museum in New York and will be shown alongside paintings from the WAG’s collection. The second, Impressionists on Paper comes from the permanent collection of the National Gallery.
Taken together the two exhibitions feature works by more than 60 artists in a variety of media, painting, watercolours, pastels, drawing and sculpture.
Once again it’s the Return of the Impressionists…
At some point the keen eyed reader of this chronicle will note that Impressionism in all its glory appears to be taking the stage in museums across the land. The National Gallery is running Impressionist Treasures: The Ordrupgaard Collection from May 18 to September 9, 2018.
This really appears to be a great chance for an art lesson in the development of modern painting because it includes work from before Impressionism, Realism and the Barbizon School, Impressionism and Post-impressionism.
Some 76 painting will be in the show and it includes works by artists who are on what you might want to call painting’s honour roll, Corot, Monet, Sisley, Pissaro, Courbet, Manet, Matisse, Renoir, Morisot and Gaughin. It also offers the viewer the chance to see works by two painters of the Danish Golden Age, C.W. Eckersberg and Vilhelm Hammershoi. This show makes running up to Ottawa for a day worthwhile.
At some point the keen eyed reader of this chronicle…