There’s recently been a brou-ha-ha brewing in Ottawa, over the decision by Marc Mayer, director of the National Gallery, to put a sculpture by the 43-year-old New York artist Roxy Paine on Nepean Point, the area nearby to the National Gallery.
A sculpture by Roxy Paine. Image: linka-me.com
Nepean Point is, more precisely, a hill in Ottawa overlooking the Ottawa River, Parliament, the Museum of Civilization, and other features of downtown Ottawa and Gatineau. It is located between the National Gallery of Canada and Alexandra Bridge.
At the peak of the hill is a statue of French explorer Samuel de Champlain holding his famous astrolabe upsidedown. And the proposed sculpture, Called One Hundred Foot Line, evokes a tree without branches.
Nepean Point, in Ottawa. Image: jeays.ca
Yet some critics have accused the National Gallery of being ‘unpatriotic’, which is, of course, ridiculous. They claim that Paine’s art will be “a piece of art that does not reflect our history, culture, or nationality. It is completely out of context to its site.”
As Leah Sandals alludes to, it reminds us of the whole Voice of Fire snafu in 1990.
National Gallery director Marc Mayer. Image: destinationknowlton.com
We’ll let Sandals give her balanced commentary on this one, as well as Peter Simpson from the Ottawa Citizen, who asks, incredulous: “There’s also plenty of outdoor, Canadian art throughout the Parliamentary district, and yet Paine’s piece will tip the city into provincialism?”
Click HERE to read Blake Gopnik’s glowing review of the Roxy Paine sculpture that stands proudly in the sculpture garden of the National Gallery of Art in Washington.