Moving from what can only be described as the very modern to what may now be regarded as one of Canada’s foremost modernist painters the National Gallery is running James Wilson Morrice: The A.K. Pradash Collection in Trust to the Nation from October 13, 2017 to March 18, 2018. 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 ef fects. As a modernist Morrice compressed his subject matter as opposed to elaborating it but rather than adhere to any artistic dogma developed his own aesthetic.
The show will mark the first time that A.K. Pradash’s gift to the nation will be seen in its entirety and consists of 49 paintings and watercolours. Pradash was a long time contributor to Magazin’art.
Also running at the National is the 2017 Canadian Biennial from October 19, 2017 to March 18, 2017. This is the fourth Biennial that the National Gallery has mounted and usually they feature recent acquisitions that the museum has made. This iteration is slightly different and along with recent works by Canadian and Indigenous contemporary work features international art works as well. All in all over 50 artists and over 100 works of art are featured. The works in question run from painting, sculpture, photography and drawing to prints, video and large scale mixed media installations.