Magazin'Art

news

BOSTON

If you happen to find yourself in Beantown in the near future I would heartily recommend dropping by the Museum of Fine Arts where from February 13 – June 26, 2016  they will be showing Visiting Masterpieces: Pairing Picasso . The show consists of 11 Picassos hung side by side for the sake of comparison. You could also take in The Idea of North: The Paintings of Lawren Harris , which runs from March 12 – June 12, 2016 . Before it moves on later in the year to the AGO in Toronto.

Spring 2016

If you happen to find yourself in Beantown in the near future I would heartily recommend dropping by the Museum of Fine Arts where from February 13 – June 26, 2016 they will be showing…

VANCOUVER

Something wonderful has happened at the Vancouver Art Gallery. It is the beneficiary of a trove of Northwest Coast Art donated by the estate of the late San Francisco collector George Gund III. One of the First Nations art works dates back to 700 AD. The collection is made up of 20 historical works by Haida, Heiltsuk, Inuit, Kwakwaka’wakw, Nuu-chah-nulth, Nuxalk and Tinglit artists and 17 modern pieces including two more or less recently carved totem poles, drawings by Bill Reid and 13 carved works by Robert Davidson.

When joined to the museum’s existing collection of Davidson’s work the new pieces mean that the Vancouver Art Gallery now has the most significant Davidson collection in a museum. The Gund Collection is on exhibition until January 31, 2016 .

Last but not least VAG is exhibiting what appears to be a blockbuster show on Canadian landscape painting from 1840-1940, Embracing Canada: Landscapes from Kreighoff to the Group of Seven . Once again this is a run don’t walk scenario because the exhibition which features some 130 works finishes on January 24th . All the usual suspects are present when it comes to realistic painting.

Winter 2016

Something wonderful has happened at the Vancouver Art Gallery. It is the beneficiary of a trove of Northwest Coast Art donated by the estate of the late San Francisco collector George Gund III…

OTTAWA

Continuing in an impressionistic manner, the National Gallery is running Monet: A Bridge to Modernity until February 15th . The exhibition is made up of 12 bridge paintings that Monet made while he was living in the Parisian suburb of Argenteuil. Monet used his fascination with painting bridges as to experiment with a variety of different techniques and colours and the end result largely con- tribute to the creation of Impressionism, a fresh vital look at painting and one of the keystones of modern art.

Winter 2016

Continuing in an impressionistic manner, the National Gallery is running Monet: A Bridge to Modernity until February 15th . The exhibition is made up of 12 bridge paintings that…

MONTREAL

From here to ear v.19, running until March 27th at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. It consists of more than 70 Zebra finches, 10 Gibson Les Pauls, 4 Gibson Thunderbirds, 7 cymbals and 4 amps, all sequestered inside a giant aviary. These are top of the line electric guitars and the Thunderbirds are electric bass guitars.

The guitars are mounted on stands so that the front of the guitar is level with the volume and tone controls, strings and playing surface providing a flat surface for the finches to perch on. The finches have a penchant for perching on the strings and every now and then jump up and down on them. The guitars are in blues and power chord open tunings so that when a bird lands on them they produce a chord.

And now for the piece de resistance, in this work of art the viewer becomes the audience for the sounds being produced, the viewer of more than 70 small colourful birds in sometime motion and active participant in creating those sounds. This is the 19th time that French artist Celeste Boursier-Mougenot’s  from here to ear has been mounted and it is the largest version to date. Anyone who likes John Cage is bound to like this.

WINTER 2016

From here to ear v.19, running until March 27th at the Montreal Museum of Fine Art. It consists of more than 70 Zebra finches, 10 Gibson Les Pauls, 4 Gibson Thunderbirds…

TORONTO

If you are going to be in Toronto this holiday season, don’t walk, run to the Art Gallery of Ontario and see the J.M.W. Turner: Painting Set Free , before it ends on January 31st . This is probably the only chance you will have of seeing these painting by one of the great artists of all time and of whom it could be said helped set the stage for Impressionism and modern art. Fifty works from the most experimental and influential stage of Turner’s career are on display.

WINTER 2016

If you are going to be in Toronto this holiday season, don’t walk, run to the Art Gallery of Ontario and see the J.M.W. Turner: Painting Set Free , before it ends on January 31st…

BOSTON

There’s much more to Boston than baked beans and it hosts a bustling museum and art scene. At the Boston Museum of Fine Arts Class Distinctions, Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer runs until January 18th .

The show has 75 portraits, genre scenes, landscapes and seascapes borrowed from European and American public and private collections. Roughly put the exhibition is divided into three sections showing the lower, middle and upper class members of the new Dutch Republic and a fourth section showing places where the three classes mixed. Works by artists on display include Rembrandt. Vermeer, Jan Steen, Pieter de Hooch, Gerard ter Borch and Gabriël Metsu.

Winter 2016

There’s much more to Boston than baked beans and it hosts a bustling museum and art scene. At the Boston Museum of Fine Arts Class Distinctions, Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt…

NEW YORK

As you would expect the Metropolitain Museum in New York has some marvelous galleries that always repay a visit. I suggest that for the holidays a visit to the tapestries at the Metropolitain are in order. After all, what’s a snowfall without a few tapestries to look at? At the risk of mangling my metaphors or mixing my seasons, Fabergé Easter Eggs also seem to enjoy being seen against the background of winter.

Fabergé from the Matilda Geddings Gray Foundation Collection  is on display at the Met until November 27, 2016 . As you would suspect with the Met, the most important Fabergé piece in the United States is on display as well, the Lillies-of-the-Valley Basket  as are three Imperial Easter Eggs. Pieces of the collection will rotate on display for the next five years.

If you arrive in New York before January 6, 2016  you will have a chance to see the Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Crèche . The tree itself is a 20 foot blue spruce decorated with 55, 18th Century Neapolitan angels and 22 cherubs hovering among its boughs and groups of 69 realistic crèche figures flanking the Nativity scene. All of this is set against a Spanish choir screen from the Valladolid Cathedral.

Winter 2016

As you would expect the Metropolitain Museum in New York has some marvelous galleries that always repay a visit. I suggest that for the holidays a visit to the tapestries…

CALGARY

From October 17, 2015 to January 31, 2016 the Glenbow Museum in Calgary is exhibiting David Thauberger: Road Trips and Other Diversions.

Thauberger is the kind of artist whose work can be described as delightful. While that description may be the kiss of death in some critical circles his work conveys a sense of spontaneity and purity that brings a smile to mind.

His work borders on the naive except that his colours are too true, they punch above their weight and his use of colour is very sophisticated. What he does share with most naive art is a flattened perspective.

Thauberger’s subjects are with the exception of the odd landscape or two are commonplace prairie structures: Legion halls, grain elevators, corner stores and small town bungalows. There is a use of heightened colour that adds a magical characteristic to his work that is quite enchanting and special.

Autumn 2015

From October 17, 2015 to January 31, 2016 the Glenbow Museum in Calgary is exhibiting David Thauberger: Road Trips and Other Diversions…

MONTREAL

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is presenting, The 1920’s Modernism in Montreal The Beaver Hall Group from October 24, 2013 to January 31, 2016.

The Beaver Hall Group is often thought of as a group of women artists but that is due to a mistake made by a travelling exhibition some time ago. Let’s face it, if you were a group of women artists, would you elect A. Y. Jackson as your first president?

Some would say that the Beaver Hall Group is to Montreal as the Group of Seven was to Toronto and there is some truth to that. With Jackson as its first president both groups obviously intermingled and the Group of Seven often incorporated work from the Beaver Hall Group when their work went on travelling exhibitions.

To wrap up the connection, when the Group of Seven decided to call it a day and members went on to form the Canadian Group of Painters, painters from Beaver Hall joined them.

The exhibition is made up of work by group members and friends and includes Emily Coonan, Adrien and Henri Hebert, Prudence Heward, Randolph Hewton, Edwin Holgate, A.Y. Jackson, Robert Pilot, Andre Bieler and others.

Autumn 2015

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is presenting, The 1920’s Modernism in Montreal The Beaver Hall Group from October 24, 2013 to January 31, 2016…

QUEBEC CITY

From October 29, 2015 to March 27 2016 The Quebec National Museum of Fine Art will be presenting, A Private Passion, Modern Art in Quebec from the Pierre Lassonde Collection.

Pierre Lassonde is a successful mining developer and a noted philanthropist. As such he has had the means to collect the very best when it comes to Quebec art. On display will be a hundred key paintings from the history of modern Quebec art. Some of the artists whose work will be displayed include Marc Aurèle Fortin, Clarence Gagnon, Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Côté, Helen McNicoll, Paul-Émile Borduas, Marcelle Ferron, Jean-Paul Lemieux and Jean-Paul Riopelle.

From October 29, 2015 to March 27 2016 The Quebec National Museum of Fine Art will be presenting, A Private Passion, Modern Art…

FREDERICTON

From October 2 to January 11, 2015, The Beaverbrook Art Gallery will be presenting Lucy Jarvis Even Stones Have Life. Jarvis died in 1985 and didn’t begin to blossom until late in life after she stepped down in 1960 from the University of New Brunswick Art Centre which she cofounded. Then she began to take extensive trips to France and liberated her art from the strictures she had learned as a student at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Her work is impressionistic and postimpressionistic and brings light into vision. It deserves a wider audience.

Autumn 2015

From October 2 to January 11, 2015, The Beaverbrook Art Gallery will be presenting Lucy Jarvis Even Stones Have Life…

EDMONTON

The Art Gallery of Alberta will be running the retrospective, Jack Bush until August 23, 2015. Bush was one of the first Canadian artists to gain an international reputation and following and he exhibited in Toronto, New York and London. Bush, 1909-1977. Bush worked as an commercial artist until 1968 when he devoted himself completely to abstract art becoming one of the better known colour field painters.

In his work he attempted to distill the essence of how things made him feel, the colour and smell of a flower for instance, or a mark in the road. The Edmonton exhibition features more than 50 works that trace Bush’s development form commercial illustrator to large scale abstract art.

Summer 2015

The Art Gallery of Alberta will be running the retrospective, Jack Bush until August 23, 2015. Bush was one of the first Canadian…

OTTAWA

The Alexander Colville exhibition at the National Gallery is running until September 7, 2015 and although I have mentioned it before I feel it must be mentioned again because the chance of this many paintings, more than 250, as well as more than a hundred preparatory drawings is rare. In short, the exhibition probably contains every image painted by this iconic Canadian artist you will ever want to see.

Summer 2015

The Alexander Colville exhibition at the National Gallery is running until September 7, 2015 and although I have mentioned it before…

MONTREAL

From May 30 until October 18, 2015 the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is presenting Metamorphoses: In Rodin’s Studio. The show is the largest Rodin exhibition to be assembled at close to 300 pieces and includes works that have not been seen before in North America.

The exhibition explores how Rodin worked with first his materials and then with his models and casters while being documented by writers and photographers at the same time.

Summer 2015

From May 30 until October 18, 2015 the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is presenting Metamorphoses: In Rodin’s Studio…

QUEBEC CITY

The Musée National des beaux-arts du Québec is promising those who devoted to Japanese art one heck of a time with Japan, The Great Seduction, running from June 11, 2015 – September 27, 2015. The exhibition draws on the famous collection of Japanese art at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and consists of 130 works including pieces in lacquer and silver, paintings, photographs and prints. The Quebec City showing is the only stop in Canada. The exhibition promises to explore the Western world’s fascination with Japanese art and its powerful influence.

It seems, however, that Boston Museum of Fine Arts has kept some of its more famous works at home. From April 5, 2015 –August 9, 2015 the museum will be exhibiting Hokusai, whose images are perhaps the most widely recognized of any Japanese artist. Katsushika Hokusai, 1760-1849, was the first Japanese artist to be internationally recognized. Some of the masterworks on display will be Under the Wave Off Kanagawa from the legendary series Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji and the brilliantly coloured multi-panel screen painting Phoenix.

Summer 2015

 

The Musée National des beaux-arts du Québec is promising those who devoted to Japanese art one heck of a time with Japan…

EDMONTON

What better place could there be for something modern that the Art Gallery of Alberta which is showing Pop Show Dazzled by the Everyday, March 21, 2015-June 7, 2015. Pop Art which focussed a critical eye on the everyday emerged after the Second World War, which when you think about it is a pure case of cause and effect. The show contains work by Warhol, Lichtenstein, Oldenburg and British contemporaries, Richard Hamilton, Allen Jones and David Hockney as well as Canadians Joyce Wieland, Greg Curnoe and Michael Snow.

Spring 2015

What better place could there be for something modern that the Art Gallery of Alberta which is showing Pop Show Dazzled by the Everyday…

WINNIPEG

There are a couple of interesting things going on at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. There first you might call a bit of a retrospective and the second you might call a bit of a miracle. L.L. FitzGerald’s Impressionist Decade, 1910-1920, running until June 7, 2015, examines some luminescent work by the Manitoba artist Lionel LeMoine FitzGerald. FitzGerald’s work in trying to honestly record the effect of light and atmosphere have resulted in some wonderful works that deserve to be appreciated to a greater extent than they are.

And now, here’s the miracle: Elisapee Ishulutaq Yesterday and Today, running until June 14, 2015. The work consists of one large mural done in oil stick on paper. It shows the dif ferences between when Ishulutaq was young and the world around her in Pangnirtung now.

The miracle part of it all is that the work was commissioned by Darlene Coward Wight, Curator of Inuit Art, Winnipeg Art Gallery, when Elisapee was 90 years old in 2014.

Wight had been aware of Elisapee for some time and so she should have. Elisapee Ishulutaq is one of the last if not the last original artist from the Pangnirtung experimental print shop in 1970. Her work is famous and has been used as the basis for tapestries. She is also a member of the Order of Canada.

The charming part of all of this is that if you want more insight into the creation of art you can watch it being done in a seven minute video that is completely both charming and fascinating. You can see the video on the Winnipeg Art Gallery website in the current exhibition section or look Elisapee Ishulutaq up on YouTube.

Spring 2015

There are a couple of interesting things going on at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. There first you might call a bit of a retrospective and the second…

TORONTO

It may now be time for something a little more modern and the Art Gallery of Ontario will be showing Jean-Michel Basquiat: Now’s the Time until May 10, 2015. Basquiat made a reputation for himself in New York City during the late 1980s and that reputation soon became international. Basquiat was black and his art confronted racism, identity and social tension. This is the first retrospective of Basquiat’s work to be shown in Canada and consists of close to 85 large scale paintings and drawings from private collections and public museums across Europe and North America.

Spring 2015

It may now be time for something a little more modern and the Art Gallery of Ontario will be showing Jean-Michel Basquiat…

QUEBEC CITY

The Musée National des Beaux Arts du Québec is promising those who devoted to Japanese art one heck of a time with Japan, The Great Seduction, running from June 11, 2015 – September 27, 2015. The exhibition draws on the famous collection of Japanese art at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and consists of 130 works including pieces in lacquer and silver, paintings, photographs and prints. The Quebec City showing is the only stop in Canada. The exhibition promises to explore the Western world’s fascination with Japanese art and its powerful influence.

It seems, however, that Boston Museum of Fine Arts has kept some of its more famous works at home. From April 5, 2015 – August 9, 2015 the museum will be exhibiting Hokusai, whose images are perhaps the most widely recognized of any Japanese artist. Katsushika Hokusai, 1760-1849, was the first Japanese artist to be internationally recognized. Some of the masterworks on display will be Under the Wave Off Kanagawa from the legendary series Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji and the brilliantly coloured multi-panel screen painting Phoenix.

Spring 2015

The Musée National des Beaux Arts du Québec is promising those who devoted to Japanese art one heck of a time with Japan…

VANCOUVER

From February 14, 2015 to May 18, 2015 Cezanne and the Modern: Masterworks of European Art from the Pearlman Collection will be on exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Vancouver is the only Canadian venue for the exhibition. The show consists of roughly fifty works of art and no less than 24 of them are by Cezanne. Other artists on exhibition include Modigliani, Manet, Toulouse-Lautrec, Van Gogh and Gauguin.

Winter 2015

From February 14, 2015 to May 18, 2015 Cezanne and the Modern: Masterworks of European Art from the Pearlman Collection will be on exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery…

TORONTO

The Art Gallery of Ontario is presenting Art Spiegelman’s CO-MIX: A Retrospective from December 20, 2014 to March 15, 2015. Spiegelman is best known for Maus for which he won a Pulitzer Award. Maus is a two volume graphic novel which details how his parents survived in Nazi concentration camps. In Maus, the Jews are drawn as mice.

Other themes that spring to mind when discussing the creative cartoonist who as you might guess is one of the best draughtsmen working today include the hard-boiled detective genre, politics and Cubism. The exhibition consists of more than 300 works on paper ranging from trading cards to magazine covers.

Winter 2015

The Art Gallery of Ontario is presenting Art Spiegelman’s CO-MIX: A Retrospective from December 20, 2014 to March 15, 2015. Spiegelman is best known for Maus for which he won a…

MONTREAL

As the art world moved from representational to abstract, no small part of the intellectual motivation for this development came from the realization that colour provided a much larger design element than previously thought.

This can be vividly seen in Marvels and Mirages of Orientalism: From Spain to Morocco, Benjamin Constant in his time which runs at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts from January 31, 2015 to May 31, 2015.

Benjamin Constant lived from 1845 to 1902 and was well known and successful in his time. His work was influenced by the Moorish palaces of Spain and Morocco. His ability as a colourist is remarkable and it is to that use of rich colours that I have alluded to above.

Winter 2015

 

As the art world moved from representational to abstract, no small part of the intellectual motivation for this development came from the realization that colour provided a much…

QUEBEC CITY

The older I get the more readily I come to the conclusion that some people can do more than one thing quite successfully thank you very much. One example that springs to mind is Conrad Black who for a while was very successful as a newspaperman. Now he is becoming better known for his excellent string of modern histories.

Another is perennial rock and roll star Bryan Adams. Long known for his success in cutting like a knife on the record charts he has also been building a parallel career as a photographer. Adams’ work is stunning and from February 19, 2015 to June 14, 2015 Bryan Adams Exposed will be showing at the Musee National des Beaux Arts in Quebec City.

His portrait of a prancing Sir Mick Jagger is revealing as are his shots of Amy Winehouse, Lindsay Lohan, Kate Moss, Ben Kingsley and Queen Elizabeth II.

The 130 piece exhibition is roughly divided between celebrities and his recent work which consists of British soldiers who have fought in Afghanistan and Iraq. Many of the photographs are in large formats and are in black and white and colour.

Winter 2015

 

The older I get the more readily I come to the conclusion that some people can do more than one thing quite successfully thank you very much. One example that…

WINNIPEG

The Winnipeg Art Gallery has had the good grace to snap up that travelling exhibition, Masterworks from the Beaverbrook Art Gallery September 27, 2014 to January 25, 2015 .

The exhibition consists of some 75 masterworks by artists such as Gainsborough, Reynolds, Constable, Delacroix, Sargent, Sickert, Sisley, Sutherland, Turner, Freud and Dali and iconic Canadian artists such as Krieghoff, Morrice, Harris and Carr, Milne, Gagnon and the Group of Seven.

Autumn 2014

The Winnipeg Art Gallery has had the good grace to snap up that travelling exhibition, Masterworks from the Beaverbrook Art Gallery September 27, 2014 to January 25, 2015…

TORONTO

Even though the Globe and Mail has come out and said that the Alex Colville show is just simply too large, (isn’t that like saying there’s too much ice cream in the world?) I still think everyone should go to Alex Colville August 23-January 4, 2015 at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Colville was well known for being his own man and that manifested itself in his style which could be described as magic realism in which there is always the sense that some kind of uneasy question is lurking around the corner. Something disquieting is about to happen that will forever change the person who witnesses it. This sense of impending doom may very well have been the result of his service as a war artist during the Second World War.

Colville was a remarkable artist and famed for his abilities as a draftsman. He had an international reputation and in Canada some of his images have become iconic as maple syrup. The exhibition is made up of more than 100 works and includes the following pictures: Horse and Train , To Prince Edward Island , Woman in Bathtub and Target, Pistol and Man .

Autumn 2014

Even though the Globe and Mail has come out and said that the Alex Colville show is just simply too large, (isn’t that like saying there’s too much ice cream in the world?) …

OTTAWA

I don’t know why this one slipped by me but the National Gallery has something I would very much like to see and it has been on exhibit during the summer. Tom Thomson: The Jack Pine and The West Wind are running until January 4, 2015 . The two iconic masterpieces are accompanied by the oil sketches that Thomson made in Algonquin Park and on which the full scale paintings are based.

Autumn 2014

I don’t know why this one slipped by me but the National Gallery has something I would very much like to see and it has been on exhibit during the summer…

MONTREAL

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts has a number of exhibitions which prove to be interesting coming up over the Fall. Here are two of them. From Van Gogh to Kandinsky: From Impressionism to Expressionism, 1900-1914, promises to be a landmark exhibition. To begin with there is the sheer size of it all. There are 90 paintings and 45 works on paper backed up by 200 pieces of documentary evidence, photographs, stereographic images and magazines that focus on Paris.

The exhibition is made up of work by Post-Impressionist, Fauvist and Cubist paintings by more than 40 artists including Cézanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Henri Matisse, Robert Delaunay and Paul Signac that the Expressionists, Wassily Kandinsky, Kirchner, Munter and Franz Marc, for example were able to see in German exhibitions and on their travels in Paris For the first time in a major museum exhibition, Expressionism, which is usually regarded as a German art movement, is presented as an international movement in which artists responded with various different approaches to the work done by the likes of Cézanne, Van Gogh and Gauguin.

From November 5, 2014 to March 15, 2015 the MMFA will be showing Warhol Mania , which consists of some 50 advertising posters and almost a thousand magazine illustrations.

Autumn 2014

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts has a number of exhibitions which prove to be interesting coming up over the Fall. Here are two of them. From Van Gogh to Kandinsky…

QUEBEC CITY

Into India, at the Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec, is running from October 9, 2014 to January 18, 2015. It consists of more than a hundred miniatures created during the Mogul Empire which lasted in India from the beginning of the 1500’s until just after 1700. Unfamiliar with our concept of perspective these artists work on a flat plane and the results are magnificent. The chances of ever seeing an exhibit like this in Canada again are rare, so if the subject interests you, now is your chance.

Still in Quebec City but this time over at the Musée de la civilisation you can take in Masters of Olympus, Treasures from the Greco Roman Collections of Berlin, which runs through to March 15, 2015. Over 160 masterpieces ranging from statues to sculptures, ceramics and jewelry are on display for the first time in North America. The pieces come from the Berlin Antiquity Museum which has one of the most prestigious collections of Greco Roman art in the world. As an added plus Hesiod and Homer discuss the Gods on the audiotape guide describing the exhibition.

Autumn 2014

 

Into India, at the Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec, is running from October 9, 2014 to January 18, 2015. It consists of more than a hundred miniatures…

QUEBEC

In terms of National patrimony it looks as if this spring will bring in a bumper crop. In beautiful Quebec City the Musee National des beaux arts has been in the process of reorganizing itself with a new pavilion being due in 2015.

In the meantime a certain reshuffling has already taken place and the MNBAQ is reopening the Charles Baillairge Pavillion af ter restoring it, with four exhibitions in gal- leries dedicated to the following Quebec modern masters: Jean-Paul Lemieux: Of Si- lence and Space; Alfred Pellan: The Wide Awake Dreamer; Fernand Leduc: Painter of Light; and Jean-Paul Riopelle: Metamorphoses. The museum is also creating a permanent exhibition for Leduc, the first time the artist has been so honoured.

The exhibition offers lovers of Quebec modern art the opportunity to see several masterpieces which are currently held by private hands but which have been leant to the museum for a limited time.

These include Jean-Paul Lemieux’s Julie et L’universe, 1965, and 1910 remembered, 1962 which will be on view until June 30, 2014. As well Alfred Pellan’s most impres- sive murals, Canada Est and Canada Ouest, 1943, will be shown in Quebec for the first time since they were commissioned by the federal government in 1943.

Spring 2014

In terms of National patrimony it looks as if this spring will bring in a bumper crop. In beautiful Quebec City the Musee…

OTTAWA

There’s no place like Ottawa in the spring, especially if the tulips are out. If you need a reason to visit, The Charles Edenshaw exhibition that wowed Vancouver has picked up stakes and moved to the National Gallery of Canada and will be showing from March 7 to May 25, 2014.

Edenshaw lived from 1829 to 1920. He was descended from a long line of Haida carvers and in turn his descendents, ran- ging from Bill Reid to James Hart, are among the most distinguished Haida carvers of their day. He worked with wood, silver, argillite and painted the hats his wife wove.

He combined traditional Haida design with an innovative and elegant personal style that helped raise Northwest Coast art to new heights. The exhibition consists of more than 80 works that have been bor- rowed from public and private collections across North America.

Haida art is one of the most powerful art forms that this country has ever given birth to. If you are at all interested in design this exhibition is a must see.

Also on at the NGC’s Rideau Chapel is Janet Cardiff: 40-Part Motet. The sound sculpture is a reworking of Spem in Alium by Thomas Tallis a 16th-century English composer in which 40 individually recorded choir voices are played through 40 speakers positioned around the chapel. The only way I can imagine this is as if you were standing or sitting in an audience and the performers were placed throughout the crowd.

There’s no place like Ottawa in the spring, especially if the tulips are out. If you need a reason to visit, The…

KINGSTON

Meanwhile down in Kingston, the quiet largesse of influential alumni has been slow ly transforming Queen’s University’s Agness Etherington Art Centre into a major North American hub for European painting and one of the largest repositories for European art in Canada.

Rembrandt’s Circle: Making History, running until December 30, 2014 makes this clear. The exhibition examines how Rembrandt and his circle worked in narra- tive or historical genres. Half the works in the show stem from the 68 works which were recently donated by Alfred and Isabel Bader which are joining the 130 earlier pieces the couple has donated.

Spring 2014

Meanwhile down in Kingston, the quiet largesse of influential alumni has been slow ly transforming Queen’s University’s…

VANCOUVER

Our Canadian heritage or patrimony section wraps up in Vancouver where at the Vancouver Art Gallery the first major solo retrospective in more than 50 years on Lauren Harris: Canadian Visionary which will open on March 1, 2013 and close on May 4, 2014.

The show features 137 paintings, oil sketches and drawings and offers a rare and extensive overview of the artist’s evolution, one of the most prominent figures in the history of Canadian art as he travels from representational to abstract. Harris was one of the driving forces behind

 

Spring 2014

Our Canadian heritage or patrimony section wraps up in Vancouver where at the Vancouver Art Gallery the first major solo…

TORONTO

They’ve gone hog wild in Hogtown over Alex Colville and so they should. Colville died last July and now the Art Gallery of Ontario is mounting the largest exhibition of the artist’s work to date in his honour. Alex Colville August 23-July 4, 2015. Colville was well known for being his own man and that manifested itself in his style which could be described as magic realism in which there is always the sense that some kind of uneasy question is lurking around the corner. Something disquieting is about to happen that will forever change the person who witnesses it. This sense of impending doom may very well have been the result of his service as a war artist during the Second World War.

Colville was a remarkable artist and famed for his abilities as a draftsman. He had an international reputation and in Canada some of his images have become iconic as maple syrup. The exhibition is made up of more than 100 works and includes the following pictures: Horse and Train, To Prince Edward Island, Woman in Bathtub and Target, Pistol and Man.

Summer 2014

They’ve gone hog wild in Hogtown over Alex Colville and so they should. Colville died last July and now the Art Gallery of Ontario is mounting the largest exhibition…

LONDON

Moving on from looking at the past to inspiring the future The Tate Modern in London is showing Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs from April 17-September 7, 2014. When you look at the cut outs one of the questions you end up walking away with is whether or not there would have been a Pop Art explosion in the 1960‘s without the influence of Matisse’s work. Matisse worked on the cut-outs in his old age starting when he was 71, recovering from radical colon surgery and confined to either a wheelchair or bed. He couldn’t work at an easel but he could shape form and colour by using scissors, coloured paper and pins to attach them to the wall. Eventually Matisse would have an assistant pin the pieces of a work against the wall and finally they would be taken down and framed in glass. Matisse worked for the last 13 years of life on the cut-outs. There are 130 cut-outs in the show and some of them are very large.

Summer 2014

Moving on from looking at the past to inspiring the future The Tate Modern in London is showing Henri Matisse: The Cut- Outs…

NEW YORK

If you happen to be in New York the Metropolitain Museum of Art is showing The Pre-Raphaelite Legacy British Art and Design from May 20-October 26, 2014. The Pre-Raphaelites were the bad boys of the Victorian art community and as an aside, were also responsible for reintroducing the sandal as acceptable footwear. Fortunately the strength of their abilities makes up for this fashion foible. Inspired by medieval and Renaissance art from before the time of Raphael they attempted and in many cases succeeded in producing art that was vivid, sincere and uplifting. The show consists of some 30 objects from the Museum and from private collections and focuses on the second generation Pre-Raphaelites Edward Burne-Jones, William Morris and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Works on display include paintings, drawings, furniture, ceramics, stained glass, textiles and book illustrations. While the Pre-Raphaelites influenced later art movements such as the Symbolists, the Arts and Crafts Movement and Surrealism they also, through the home furnishings produced by William Morris’ Morris and Company strongly influenced furniture and textile design.

Summer 2014

 

If you happen to be in New York the Metropolitain Museum of Art is showing The Pre-Raphaelite Legacy British Art…

PARIS

Some time ago the governments of France and The United Arab Emirates, reached a cultural agreement. France and French museums would help build and stock a new museum called The Louvre Abu Dhabi in Abu Dhabi. From May 2-July 28, 2014, the Paris Louvre will be exhibiting 150 of the finest masterpieces which are destined to fill the halls at the Louvre Abu Dhabi, which will start out in life with a collection of 600 works. On display will be ancient jewellry, paintings by Jordaens, Manet and Magritte, a previously unseen papier colle by Picasso and nine paintings by the recently deceased American artist Cy Twombly. The new museum will open in December 2015.

Summer 2014

Some time ago the governments of France and The United Arab Emirates, reached a cultural agreement…

OTTAWA

The National Gallery is doing an excellent job of taking us back to the care free days of a summer childhood by hosting Gustave Doré (1832-1883): Master of Imagination from June 13-September 14, 2014. Some of you may be quibbling at this point with my use of childhood, but I maintain that most of the people who will visit the Doré show will in some way be brought back to their childhoods because of the universal influence his illustrations have had on children’s books and illustrations.

If you haven’t seen Doré’s work in its original form then the chances are you have seen his style used by someone else to less effect in a child’s book. While best known now as a powerful illustrator Doré was also a noted painter and sculptor. The exhibition consists of a hundred works ranging from prints to drawing to sculptures and paintings.

Summer 2014

The National Gallery is doing an excellent job of taking us back to the care free days of a summer childhood by hosting Gustave Doré (1832-1883): Master of Imagination from June 13-September 14, 2014…

QUEBEC CITY

I’ve often thought that the view from the roof of a building in Quebec City’s Old Town is pretty much the same view that most North Americans think of as being Parisian and that if you can’t get to Paris, Quebec City more than makes up for that.

The Musee National des beaux-arts du Quebec on the Plains of Abraham will be showing Morrice and Lyman in the Company of Matisse from May 8-September 7, 2014. James Wilson Morrice and John Lyman were two Canadian painters who were able to live abroad in exile as they developed their international reputations.

Lyman studied with Matisse at his Academy in 1910 and Morrice met and became friends with Matisse when both were living in Tangiers. The new exhibition is the first to feature both men in 25 years. The works on exhibition consists of 130 oils on wood, canvas and cardboard and come from museums across Canada and Europe as well as both domestic and international private collections. The exhibition will also mark the first time Matisse’s Palm Leaf, Tangier will be exhibited in Canada. It is there in order to show Matisse’s influence on Morrice’s West Indies paintings.

Summer 2014

I’ve often thought that the view from the roof of a building in Quebec City’s Old Town is pretty much the same view that most North Americans…

VANCOUVER

The Vancouver Art Gallery will be showing the first major visual art exhibition of wunderkind Douglas Coupland, who is probably better known as the author of the international best seller Generation X, than he is as a visual artist, but Coupland trained at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design before writing his first book. Coupland is a major artist with an international reputation.

As seems de rigueur of any exhibition that wants to be hailed as “major” the Vancouver show consists of more than a 100 pieces ranging from painting, photography, prints and quilts including several new large scale installations. Douglas Coupland: everywhere is anywhere is anything runs from May 31 September 1, 2014.

The museum also commissioned Coupland to create a site-specific public artwork called Gumhead which is a seven foot tall interactive self portrait, which stands next to the gallery on Howe Street.

The exhibition is divided into six themes and among them is one which would make me visit without the rest. It is called Secret Handshake and promises to “unravel the stereotypes that constitute Canadian cultural identity, both benign and menacing,” as the press release notes.

Summer 2014

The Vancouver Art Gallery will be showing the first major visual art exhibition of wunderkind Douglas Coupland, who is probably better known…

EDMONTON

Running through until november 4, 2013, at the Art Gallery of Alberta is, Water Into Art: British Watercolours from the V&A, 1750-1950 . The English have always had a special relationship with watercolours and at some points, painting in watercolours was almost a national obsession.

The exhibition consists of 100 works ranging from small sketches to fully executed works and includes all the major British painters from 1750 to 1950. Amongst all the others, are works by William Blake, J.M.W. Turner and William Henry Hunt.

Autumn 2013

Running through until november 4, 2013, at the Art Gallery of Alberta is, Water Into Art: British Watercolours…

QUEBEC CITY

Quebec City is a beautiful place, especially during the autumn. I’ve often thought that parts of Old Quebec look exactly like what most people think Paris looks like. Now if that isn’t enough to persuade you to visit one of the oldest cities in North America then this should.

From October 10, 2013 until February 16, 2014 , the Musee National des Beaux Arts du Quebec will be presenting The William S. Paley Collection: A Taste for Modernism.

The exhibition is made up of 62 French Impressionist and post-Impressionist, paintings sculptures and graphic works from the collection of Paley, who along with having a fine eye for art also founded the CBS television network.

Artists featured in the exhibition include Cezanne, Paul Gauguin, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Edgar Degas, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Pierre Bonnard, Georges Roualt and Andre Derain. Paley described the way he felt when looking at his collection as, “voluptuous aesthetic delight.”

Autumn 2013

Quebec City is a beautiful place, especially during the autumn. I’ve often thought that parts of Old Quebec…

OTTAWA

Candice Breitz: Him + Her at the National Gallery from September 12, through to September 30, 2013. Normally I would say that this show isn’t on long enough to suit our printing schedule but it sounds interesting enough that it deserves some mention somewhere. This piece of installation art takes place on 14 monitors in 2 darkened rooms and consists of clips split between the acting work of Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson. The work explores the world of angst and stereotypical gender characteristics.

Autumn 2013

Candice Breitz: Him + Her at the National Gallery from September 12, through to September 30, 2013….

TORONTO

I don’t know whether to take this seriously or not because it falls into what I call the questionable category of sociology as art, but the Art Gallery of Ontario is mounting the touring exhibition David Bowie is, from September 25, through to November 27, 2013.

The show which consists of more than 300 items is on loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London where it enjoyed a record breaking run. The items on exhibit include 50 stage costumes, lyrics, music videos, short films and album art among other objects. The New York Times described the show as, “united in sound and vision in a way that is rarely seen in a museum.”

It also includes clips from movies in which Bowie has acted. Bowie started out as an art student before he became a rock star and was in the business of constantly reinventing himself. Along the way he experimented with Surrealism, German Expressionism, Music Hall, mime and Japanese Kabuki performance.

It promises to be a full blown multimedia experience. If you are still in doubt as to who Bowie is think of Canada’s most famous astronaut Chris Hadfield when he sang, “Ground control to Major Tom,” that was Space Oddity, a David Bowie song which still receives regular airplay.

For those of you who aren’t really interested in shape-shifting rock stars, the AGO is also presenting The Great Upheaval: Modern Masterpieces from the Guggenheim Collection, from November 30, 2013 to March 2, 2014.

This exhibition focuses on the incredible amount of creativity that flowered in Europe during the years leading up to and through to the end of the First World War. This was the time in which Expressionism, Futurism, Dada and Cubism took hold and flourished and paved the way for that even greater upheaval, Abstraction. The exhibition includes work by Brancusi, Cezanne, Chagall, Duchamp, Kandinsky, Leger, Matisse, Modigliani, Mondrian and Picasso.

Autumn 2013

I don’t know whether to take this seriously or not because it falls into what I call the questionable category of…

VANCOUVER

This past August the first totem pole in over a century was raised by the Haida. The pole was raised to celebrate the 20th  anniversary of a pact between the Government of Canada and the Haida protecting Haida Gwaii. The pole was carved by Jaalen Edenshaw. Although I don’t know for sure, Jaalen Edenshaw is probably related in some way to Charles Edenshaw, a famous Haida artist who lived from 1839 to 1920.

Coincidentally or not, the Vancouver Art Gallery will be mounting an exhibition, Charles Edenshaw  from October 26, 2013 to February 2, 2014.  Strangely enough for an artist so renowned, this is the first major survey of his work and features examples of the full scope of work he produced which could range from miniature totem poles to platters to bracelets and jewelry.

The exhibition has more than 200 pieces and is divided into five sections which demonstrate Edenshaw’s progression as a masterly artist. It starts by showing how well Edenshaw could work within the traditional school of Haida art and ends by showing how he came to incorporate modern influences and non-traditional iconography such as elephants and snakes.

If you like Haida art then this is a must see exhibition. Many of the pieces come from private collections and the odds of them being reassembled are probably dim.

Autumn 2013

This past August the first totem pole in over a century was raised by the Haida. The pole was raised to…

MONTREAL

There is something just a little special on at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts this winter season. Splendore A Venezia Art and Music from the Renaissance to Baroque in the Serenissima will be running until January 19, 2014. As you might imagine this is a mixed media exhibition or as cultural cognoscenti might say an innovative multidisciplinary exhibition focusing the eye and the ear on the Venetian Republic in its heyday.

The exhibition spans time from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries and consists on the visual side of 120 works of art, paintings, prints and drawings by the likes of Titian, Tintoretto, Bassano, Giovani Battista, Tiepolo and Canaletto among others as well as period musical instruments. And as for the musical side of the brain, a free audioguide is available that will play music by the likes of Vivaldi or Albinoni that directly relate to either the painting or musical instrument being looked at. As well, as series of matching concerts has been arranged for the museum’s Salle Bourgie.

Winter 2014

There is something just a little special on at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts this winter season…

TORONTO

Until June 2014, the Art Gallery of Ontario is running Kenojuak Ashevak: In Memoriam. Ashevak was born in 1927 in an igloo on Baffin Island and died in early January 2013 at home on Cape Dorset at the age of 85, and with her passed an era. She was probably one of the last people alive to have been persuaded by James Houston to abandon traditional crafts to making prints. Houston was the man who put Inuit art on the map, an artist himself, he was painting in the north when he started swapping his work for theirs. The sculpture he brought south with him was impressive enough for the government to send him back up to teach the Inuit how to make prints and so art began to blossom in the north as a way to replace income lost from the fading fur trade.

Editor and publisher Douglas Gibson who knew both Ashevak and Houston described Ashevak as Houston’s star pupil.

She was almost the face of Inuit art for a time. Her print, The Enchanted Owl, 1960, became a Canada Post stamp in 1970, the same year she travelled to the World’s Fair in Osaka. In 1967 she was made a member of the Order of Canada and in 1982 she was made a Companion of the Order of Canada. The Osaka World’s Fair provided her with an international reputation.

Winter 2014

Until June 2014, the Art Gallery of Ontario is running Kenojuak Ashevak: In Memoriam…

QUEBEC CITY

Now winter in Quebec City is a different ball of wax entirely. For one thing you get a real winter and that’s becoming just a little difficult to arrange in these climate challenged days. Until February 16, 2014 The William S. Paley Collection: A Taste for Modernism will be showing at the Musee national des beaux-art du Québec.

Quebec City is the only Canadian stop for this touring exhibition. The exhibit consists of 62 paintings, sculptures and graphic works and covers the field from Impressionism and post Impressionism to modernism. Works by Paul Cezanne, Edgar Degas, Auguste Rodin, Paul Gauguin, Toulouse-Lautrec, Matisse, Derain, Pablo Picasso and Francis Bacon are on display.

Winter 2014

Now winter in Quebec City is a different ball of wax entirely. For one thing you get a real winter…