As the summer gallery season gets underway, here are my picks for the country’s best blockbuster exhibitions:
THE COLOUR OF MY DREAMS: THE SURREALIST REVOLUTION IN ART
Vancouver Art Gallery
Through September 25, 2011
Man Ray, close up of The Kiss, 1930. Image: ultraorange.net
The VAG has organized the most comprehensive survey of Surrealist art ever to be shown in Canada. With 350 works by all the masters (Man Ray, Rene Magritte, Dali and Andre Breton, author of the Surrealist Manifesto), it also will “reveal the Surrealists’ passionate interest in indigenous art of the Pacific Northwest.” Given that the exhibition will include works from the Guggenheim, the Metropolitan, the MoMA, the Reina Sophia, the Georges Pompidou and the Tate, it should be pretty good.
Shary Boyle, Lovers, 2009. Image: canadianart.ca
Is Surrealism having a ‘moment’? The work of much celebrated Canadian artist Shary Boyle comes to mind, as does the work of several of this year’s Sobey Prize shortlisters (hello, Zeke Moores and the excellent Manon de Pauw)
From de Pauw’s website: “In (this) video series, groups of artists are gathered in silence around a table, and given basic choreographic instructions. Throughout the session, the act of writing is transformed into line, drawing, collage, and audible rhythm.”
Check out the VAG’s website, HERE
Caravaggio and his followers in Rome
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
17 June – 11 September 2011
John the Baptist, by Caravaggio (1571-1610). Image: wikimedia.org
Canada’s first exhibition devoted to the work of the truly brilliant Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio is a little late – after numerous shows of the artsts work circulated in Europe over the past few decades he has rightfully become the hottest, and arguably the most modern of the Old Masters.
But better late than never, and it’s always a joy to see these dramatic works, in this case juxtaposed against works by painters whom he inspired, including Peter Paul Rubens and Orazio Gentileschi. If you haven’t seen Caravaggio’s works in person (and even if you have), this will surely be a must-see show!
Click HERE for the gallery’s website.
ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONIST NEW YORK
Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
Through September 4, 2011
Franz Kline, Cardinal, 1950. Image: friendsofart.net
This show, coming from MoMA to Toronto features over 100 works by major American masters including Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko (a play about whom, incidentally, is coming to Canstage soon after having rave reviews in NYC) and, from what I hear, some fantastic Franz Klines. Of course, it’s always nice to see de Kooning’s work, though I also hear there aren’t as many as have been reported in this show.
A scene from John Logan’s play, RED about artist Mark Rothko. Image: artknowledgenews.com
These are works by artists who are, to put it mildly, darlings at auction. Pollock’s No. 5, 1948 de Koonings Woman III went for the second highest price, $137.5 million a few days later.
As the AGO notes, this is “a generation of artists who catapulted New York to the centre of the international art world in the 1950s,” reason enough to see the show.
Click HERE for more info.