Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Zeke's Gallery Membership


Basically it goes like this: You give Zeke's Gallery some badly needed cash, the gallery gives you in return some wicked cool stuff more valuable than the amount of money you gave - but more importantly you end up supporting the gallery and helping us continue our efforts to expand the arts and culture in the community. In previous years, support of the Gallery has helped us grow and earn unprecedented recognition. We are counting on your added support this year to help us keep our prices down, and the beer flowing in the best multi-disciplinary arts venue alive in Montreal.

Les Gallery Pass:
The Beau Dommage $30 Gallery Pass gives you discounted admission to 7 shows; this pass is flexible and can be used by several people at once, each person counting for one admission. Once the pass is used up you can get a free beer as our way of saying "thank you" for supporting the gallery.

If you would prefer, there is an option to upgrade either pass to a Les Baronets Freedom Fighter Package, once it is finished. Instead of the free beer, pay an extra $20 to upgrade the Beau Dommage $30 pass to a Les Baronets Freedom Fighter package.

Les Baronets Freedom Fighter Package ($50 + $1.80 paypal)
One Freedom Fighter card. The Freedom Fighter card is good for 12 months from the time of purchase, with it you can get discounted admission to all events and half price admission for one friend, family member or guest. You will receive discounts at local bookstores, record stores and bars and reciprocal privileges at other galleries & museums as they become available. The Freedom Fighter card also allows you to advance seat reservation privileges.

  • One free gallery poster and gallery button
  • A subscription to the Zeke's Gallery's Newsletter.
  • 10% discount on the purchase of any non-art items from the gallery
  • $50 coupon toward the purchase of any piece of art that is over $500

Click on the button to do it electronically!! (or send a check and save $1.80)

César et les Romains Freedom Fighter Package ($100 + $3.29 paypal)
Same benefits as a Les Baronets Freedom Fighter Package, plus
As many free gallery posters and gallery buttons as you like
An additional $50 coupon for the purchase of a piece of art over $500
A choice of one CD or one Catalog produced by the Gallery.
An option to upgrade to an Ultimate Freedom Fighter Card. Get 4 friends to purchase 4 César et les Romains Freedom Fighter packages ($100) and get the additional benefits of a Kick-Ass! Freedom Fighter card for yourself (see below for details).

Click on the button to do it electronically!! (or send a check and save $3.29)

La Bottine Souriante Family Freedom Fighter Package
($150 + $4.78 paypal)
Two Freedom Fighter cards and as many Short Squirt Freedom Fighter cards as required.
The same benefits as a César et les Romains Freedom Fighter package, plus
An additional $50 coupon for the purchase of piece of art over $500 (total of three)
The Short Squirt Freedom Fighter card entitles each child to the following:
Personal invitations to both the kid-friendly and the pet-friendly vernissages, personal invitations to kids-only events such as guided tours of the exhibitions, art making sessions with the artists, and storytelling afternoons, the Zeke's Gallery babysitting service (ask Zeke for details), your child's preferred juice always in stock at the gallery and a Zeke's Gallery coloring book.

Click on the button to do it electronically!! (or send a check and save $4.78)

Les Jaguars Freedom Fighter Package ($250 + $7.77 paypal)
Same benefits as a César et les Romains Freedom Fighter package, plus
Invitations to special events at the Gallery (Gallery Tours, Studio Visits, Lectures, etc.)
Printed recognition in all of Zeke's Gallery's published materials
Three more $50 coupons for the purchase of any piece of art over $500 (total of five)
A choice of three catalogs or six CDs.

Click on the button to do it electronically!! (or send a check and save $7.77)

Cassonade Freedom Fighter package ($500 + $15.24 paypal)
The same benefits as a Les Jaguars Freedom Fighter package, plus
An additional four Zeke's Gallery Freedom Fighter Cards to give to whomever you please (makes for a great [insert holiday here] gift!)
Five $100 coupons for the purchase of any piece of art over $500 (instead of those measly $50 coupons)
A choice of 6 catalogs or 12 CDs
One Kick-Ass! Freedom Fighter Card.

The Kick-Ass! Freedom Fighter Card has everything a regular Freedom Fighter card has, but is extra special. What makes it extra special is that you can get half price admission for as many guests as you like. Then you get a Personalized Zeke's Gallery Beer Mug, Wine Glass, Highball or Tumbler for use at the gallery as well. We'll also give you an advance preview of all exhibits that happen here. And the Super Secret Zeke's Unvarnished Opinions on events here (ask Zeke for details). There will also be a step leading up to the gallery renamed in your honor complete with a ceremony. You will also get a Complete Collection of Invitations, signed and numbered by the artists, all of your CDs signed by the musicians, and best of all a Temporary Tattoo of your choosing prominently displayed on Zeke's Body.

Click on the button to do it electronically!! (or send a check and save $15.24)

Plume Freedom Fighter package ($1,000 + $30.17 paypal)
Same benefits as a Cassonade Freedom Fighter package, including the Kick-Ass! Freedom Fighter Card, plus
An additional five Zeke's Gallery Freedom Fighter Cards to give to whomever you please (makes for a great [insert holiday here] gift!).
(Nine in total).
Free Admission to Zeke's Gallery's special events (Gallery Tours, Studio Visits, Lectures, etc.)
Five more $100 coupons for the purchase of any piece of art over $500 (for a total of ten)
9 catalogs or 18 CDs

Click on the button to do it electronically!! (or send a check and save $30.17)

Les Cowboys Fringants Freedom Fighter package ($2,000 + $60.04 paypal)
Same benefits as a Plume Freedom Fighter package, including the Ultimate Freedom Fighter Card, plus
15 more Zeke's Gallery Freedom Fighter cards (for a total of 25) to give to whomever you please (makes for a great [insert holiday here] gift!).
Ten $200 coupons for the purchase of any piece of art over $500 (instead of those measly $100 coupons)
12 catalogs or 24 CDs

Click on the button to do it electronically!! (or send a check and save $60.04)

The Pagliaro Freedom Fighter Package
Call me. We can talk over lunch. (514) 288-2233

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The city gets wicked cool!


I just discovered that the city has a collection of videos of poets performing at the library here on the Plateau that are downloadable. Some seriously kick-ass poets, too! People like Abla Farhoud, Jean-Claude Germain, Monique Proulx, Aline Apostolska, Bianca Côté, Carmen Marois, Christine Bonenfant, Denise Desautels, Ghislain Taschereau, Marie Cliche, Mario Cyr, Pan Bouyoucas, Pierre Sormany, Pierre Turgeon, Roger Blay, Roger Poupart, and Stanley Péan.

Unfortunately, the city's website doesn't know that they are there. But thanks to the goodness of Google, they are findable.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Shep takes it a step further


It's summertime, and the street artists are out once again. With a little luck, this project by Shep will end up similarly to that of Maclean's Art Sign project, 2001 (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7). Or for the more dense out there, he doesn't get busted, he does get picked up by a gallery who wants to sell his work for scads of money, and everybody lives happily ever after.

The thing I find most weird about this project

Is the reactions other people have. One person I was talking to refused to park their car anywhere near one of these signs - just in case some parking police from the city was blind enough to actually think that someone in public works had in fact put the sign up. Another person I was talking to, also thought that the folk at public works had put them up.

In the course of one year, the general public seems to have switched their thinking from that of praising the city for being creative in their use of street markings, to accepting that the budget is so tight that the city can't afford anything better than some plywood and a really bad (in the kindest way possible) stencil.

C'mon people! Start using your brains...

Then, for those who prefer their street art in a more formal sense, we have this example to show you:

It's unsigned, so I don't know who is responsible, and I've been meaning to get a picture of it at night, because the white lines clearly mark the outline of a shadow cast by a light from a nearby building.

And lastly, if you know (or are) responsible for either one of these pieces of art (or know of any others here in town) please let me know, thanks!

Tossing out props


It is always nice to see good people getting good coverage. Melissa Wheeler's very nice article about Chris Lloyd's Dear Prime Minister project.

More on crowds


This one really should be #7, but... An article by Steven Winn, from the San Francisco Chronicle, that discusses this report by the RAND corporation.

The line that I like best is "No organization, no artist can afford to assume that anything that's working today will do so tomorrow."

Sunday, June 26, 2005

More Backlog #6


Since I've already referred to Nicholas Serota and the Tate today, I figure that I should also point out this opinion piece from The Seattle Times by Kimerly Rorschach, Director of the Nasher Museum of Art. Neatly summed up in the title: "Art museums flourish by catering to the customer."

Now if only, certain - Canadian - Museums could learn this.

More Backlog #5


And this article seems to have gotten buried, bith by mainstream and non-mainstream press. According to Joan Delaney, StatsCan is reporting that "Canada's export of cultural goods—such as art and music—has been steadily declining for the last four years. In 2004 it reached its lowest point since 1997..."

Read the report in its entirety here. Although if you do click on the link, you'll quickly realize that Ms. Delaney's article has been rendered moot, because StatsCan said "we made a mistake." You also might notice that The Epoch Times didn't think it necessary to make a correction, or pull the article, even though it was written a full 12 days after the retraction by StatsCan.

Obviously, I'm not going to be reading anything by Joan Delaney any more.

More Backlog #4


Just to juxtapose things with the entry below, according to this article from the Telegraph, a painting by Roy Lichtenstein sold for $5.2 million, and "A Dalí-esque painting by young British artist Glenn Brown, bought five years ago for $23,000, sold for $352,000 to dealer Larry Gagosian."

I wouldn't call $352,000 for a five year old painting chump change.

More Backlog #3


This one almost slipped by, but... according to this press release, Loto Quebec is trying "to sustain artistic creation in
the province, and to promote the wide dissemination of the fruits of such

Hmmm, I wonder if the word "sustain" translates into French as "paying chump change so that we can look good to the general public?" And "wide dissemination" translates into "Chicoutimi, Trois Rivieres, and the Gaspe?"

More Backlog #2


I'd like to bring to your attention this magazine: Spacing: a magazine about Toronto's urban landscape and public spaces. Mostly, because it looks like the gallery will be their first point of distribution outside of that other city. From what I've seen, a very cool magazine, despite where they come from.

More Backlog #1


Still in catch up mode, back in May The Guardian Unlimited, profiled Nicholas Serota, who is big man in charge of the Tate, which as they prominently state is "the most popular museum of modern art in the world."

Particularly interesting, in light of the recent changes here at home.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Getting rid of the backlog #5


I feel slightly better. Back in April, Laurence Lessig and Jeff Tweedy took part in a public discussion about copyright. It took three weeks for them to get the audio posted up on the web. It took them two months, to get the video posted to the web.

While I don't think I'm ever going to be able to get my turnaround time down to the 60 minutes that I would like. I have been able to do it in under 24 hours.

Nonetheless, despite whatever technological difficulties that they had, it is a wonderful discussion that you should read, listen, or watch.

Getting rid of the backlog #4


What, with all the controversy about the changes in the way the Canada Council funds the visual arts, when The Guardian Unlimited' ran this article about what people in the UK would do to change the Arts Council, I sorta figured it would be interesting.

Personally I like the responses by Raymond Gubbay, Ken Shuttleworth, Kevin Macdonald, and John Ashford.

Getting rid of the backlog #3


I came across this program at HEC, which then led to this conference which is happening here in about 10 days.

Some of the more interesting talks are:
1. Take Me Out to the Opera: Are Sports and Arts Complements? by Sarah S. Montgomery and Michael Robinson. I'd say yes.
2. The Whipple "Time-clock" Experiment: Measurement of Visitor Engagement in a Small Museum by Niall G. Caldwell
3. We Need your Help! The Influence of Company-Consumer Relationships on Consumer Responses to Requests for Help by Jennifer Wiggins
4. Product Orientation in Contemporary Art Organisations by Marta Fumagalli and Massimiliano Nuccio
5. Perceived Success in the Arts by Dagmar Abfalter and Peter J. Mirski
6. The Strategic Development of Museum by Chiara Bernardi
7. What Makes Cities’ Marketing Policies Successful in Sustaining Contemporary Arts and Creating Social Value? by Michela Addis and Marta Fumagalli

And about another baker's dozen. I've asked if they will be giving out press passes to blogers, but haven't heard back from them. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Getting rid of the backlog #2


Way back in April, Canadian Press wrote about the exhibit and auction called Les Femmeuses. It's a wonderful thing for Pratt and Whitney to do for the community, but I only wish that an auction of works by 90 Quebecois artists would have raised more than $150,000.

Getting rid of the backlog #1


There's been way too much backlog here. So I'm just going to crank these out willy-nilly. An article about changing tastes in art, published because of the fifth anniversary of the Tate.

Given what I've discovered, about Dr. Alison Kidd, I'd really like to get my hands on whatever research she did before assuming anything about any change in any taste in art. Personally, if it had been peer-reviewed, instead of for-pay I'd probably trust it just slightly more.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Looks like Fun!


I don't think I'm gonna be missing this. July 15, get your tickets early.

Small but Significant


First it was the website, now extended hours during the jazz festival. The Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal seems to be getting into the swing of things.

Kirsten Jones & Kristin McCaig Live at Zeke's Gallery, June 23, 2005


After yesterday's fiasco of trying to get the show up here. I figured let's make stuff simple and easy. So instead of a gazillion pictures, and me attempting to weave some sort of narrative out of nothing much. How's about this?

Kirsten and Kristin were and are wonderful. They sung their heart's out here, and if you don't believe me, click on the links, below.

Zeke's Gallery Podcast Set One, Kristin McCaig. MP3 128kbps, 26.6 MB, 29:09 minutes.

Zeke's Gallery Podcast Set Two, Kirsten Jones. MP3 128kbps, 33.3 MB, 36:26 minutes.

My Odeo Channel

Kirsten Jones & Kristin McCaig Live at Zeke's Gallery, June 23, 2005 Set 2


Zeke's Gallery Podcast Set Two, Kirsten Jones. MP3 128kbps, 33.3 MB, 36:26 minutes.

If you came here from some weird click and would like to hear the first set, click here.
My Odeo Channel

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Slippery Peat Live at Zeke's, June 22, 2005


Last night we had Slippery Peat playing here, along with a whack of their friends.

Zeke's Gallery Podcast Slippery Peat, third set 13.1 MB 128Kbps MP3, 13:41 minutes
Songs: Old Aunt Maggie, Tumbling Too, and the encore, who's name I missed.

Zeke's Gallery Podcast Ben Hammond, first set 43.8 MB 128Kbps MP3, 45:38 minutes
Songs: Amie, Umbrella Song, Home, Except For You, General Taylor, No History, Something New, Lemme Know, Dr. Girl, Constellations.

Zeke's Gallery Podcast Hungaratron, second set 14.3 MB 128Kbps MP3, 14:51 minutes
Songs: [I don't think that they have titles]

Slippery Peat

Adam (the lead singer)

Gabi (the background singer who desperately needs a tambourine)

Scott, (the wonderful drummer)

Hungaratron played second

Ben & Zach played first

Ben Hammond opened up the show (in this picture with the band. Nico Dann on drums/accordian/backups and Adam Kinner on sax/mad stylz).

The Aftermath

The Cover

Not only did everybody have a great time, but a fun time was had by all. Although mine was tempered by the fact that I screwed up royally. Due to unforeseen circumstances, I was only able to record the last three songs of Slippery Peat's set. As a consequence, if they aren't thoroughly pissed off at me and are still willing to talk to me, they gotta come back so that we can get a full and complete recording.

My Odeo Channel

Ben Hammond Live at Zeke's, June 22, 2005


Zeke's Gallery Podcast
Ben Hammond, first set
43.8 MB 128Kbps MP3, 45:38 minutes.

If you can here through some weird click, and would like to hear the entire show, click here.
My Odeo Channel

Hungaratron Live at Zeke's, June 22, 2005


Zeke's Gallery Podcast
Hungaratron, second set
14.3 MB 128Kbps MP3, 14:51 minutes.

If you can here through some weird click, and would like to hear the entire show, click here.
My Odeo Channel

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Watching People Watch Laura


Last week I commented on the marketing campaign that Janet Cardiff & Co. were undertaking for her Eyes of Laura website. Now it gets really weird. You can watch the people watching Eyes of Laura.

As of now, this here blog is the 13th best referrer, you gotta look at the global stats, instead of the detailed stats. Looks like someone forgot to slap a password someplace. Yet another example of the extremely high quality of Ms. Cardiff's work.

[Update - June 22, 9 AM: Despite the commentary about making stats public, it does appear that it was a mistake. As you might notice now, all the links to the stats have been redirected to the Eyes of Laura website]

Peter Goddard, Murray Whyte & Christopher Hutsul work for a mighty fine newspaper


I've been busy, way too busy. As a consequence there is an incredible backlog of things that I would like to bring to your attention. In an attempt to get rid of some of that backlog, I would like to repeat, once again, that as far as visual arts coverage the Toronto Star does a job that is head and hands above any other daily newspaper that I am aware of in Canada.

Some examples for you perusal.
R. Crumb, paper lion by Christopher Hutsul
Awards to honour cartoonists by Christopher Hutsul
Unblinking face to face by Peter Goddard
A Picture and A Thousand Words by Murray Whyte
Dare we reinterpret the GROUP OF SEVEN? by Murray Whyte
Listen up, kids, today we visit Group of Seven Funhouse by Murray Whyte
The fountain of truth by Peter Goddard
Venice victors by Peter Goddard

It also doesn't hurt that they send their reporters all over the world, and that they keep their articles available for a long time.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Sakamoto Hiromiti Live at Zeke's June 19, 2005


Last night we had a wonderful performance

Set One - 31:50 min and 29.1 MB

Set Two - 32:59 min and 30.1 MB

Sakamoto Hiromiti.

While I had initially knew it was going to be weird, I wasn't expecting it be as wonderful as it was.

While I had initially tried to get this posted within an hour of the show finishing, after 120 minutes, I accepted the fact that this was not going to be possible. So we went home to bed. Ready to finish the tasks at hand bright and early in the morning.

Sakamoto, was understanding of the predicament. However I am now proud to announce, a mere 15 hours and 30 minutes after the show

that you can download Live at Zeke's Gallery Volume 181 right here:

Zeke's Gallery Podcast
Set One - 31:50 min and 29.1 MB

Zeke's Gallery Podcast
Set Two - 32:59 min and 30.1 MB

They are MP3 files, encoded at 128khz. If you would like the full CD version in all its glory, feel free to contact Sakamoto or the gallery. If you prefer your downloads old school style, try these:

My Odeo Channel

Sakamoto Hiromiti Live at Zeke's June 19, 2005 Set 2


Set Two - 32:59 min and 30.1 MB

If you got here though some weird click combination and would like to hear the entire show, click here.

My Odeo Channel

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Veronica Vincent rocks my world!


Before we start what is likely to turn into a wicked cool train wreck, I'd like to direct your attention to two things. First: Zeke's Gallery takes immense pleasure in letting you know that we now have an official fundraiser, cool, eh? Second: her name is Veronica Vincent, and the first order of business is the first annual last ever Membership Drive. We'll be tracking you down in the coming weeks wherever you might be and patiently explaining why you need to become a member. If you would like to be proactive, and get in on the bargain of the century, click on this, and you can get the Early Adapter Zeke's Gallery Membership. Fill in whatever amount you like, and assuming that you trust the gallery, and me, we can work out the details later. Thanks Tons!!

$71K/year to be a Sculptor in Ottawa.


I got this job offer pointed out to me by Michael Boyle, who is looking for a different type of job in Ottawa.

I'm not certain if I think that this is a good thing, or a bad thing. But it definitely ain't chump change. If you know how to use a pick and a chisel, I'd suggest going for it.

Friday, June 17, 2005

A Grinder, A Saw and a Cello this Sunday


I got this phone call from some guy named Gerhard in Detroit yesterday about the possibility of arranging a gig for Sakamoto Hiromiti this Sunday. It's a go. So I then realized that I needed to do something slightly different in order to publicize the show.

This is what I know about Sakamoto Hiromiti; "he is a cellist who also performs using voices, musical saws, among other things. In order to pursue and broaden the possibilities of the cello, he dares to use various effects, bumping and thumping, scrubbing, and goes so far as to use an electric drill or a grinder, producing sparks. His radical yet lyrical performance are indeed an experience."

It's gonna set you back $5 so that they can pay for gas.

Cool, eh? With a little luck, the place won't burn down. More details about Mr. Hiromiti here.

If you know of anybody else who might be interested, by all means either bring them and/or let 'em know.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Janet Cardiff, e-flux, Canadian Art ad naus...


I recently was having a discussion with tobias c. van Veen about Janet Cardiff's art. It all started when he came across my point about her being a bad electro-acoustic artist (in reference to 40 part motet). He came to her defense, and then the conversation veered off towards the problems with the Canada Council for the Arts.

While there are pieces that Ms. Cardiff has done, that I assume are really good (after all she has won awards and been asked back for repeat performances) I haven't seen (or heard) one that really and truly struck me as original and worthy of the heaping amounts of praise she has received.

Now, I've also discussed how Canadian Artists don't get much respect on the international stage, and how if they spent the $850 (or so) to advertise on e-flux it might help, specifically with regards to Rebecca Belmore. So what comes prancing through my inbox this afternoon? An e-flux ad for something Janet Cardiff has going on at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

First thing I think is: "Woo-Hoo! This is wicked cool!" So I click on the ad. What do I get? This:

If you want, try it yourself, they might have fixed things by the time you read this. First click on this to get to e-flux's website version of the email, and then click through the picture.

Let me know when the kinks have been worked out, ok? In the meantime my opinion of Ms. Cardiff's work is falling, and fast. And if you still have any questions on why Canadian Art ain't getting no respect, you might want to put 'em on hold.

[Update, about 5 minutes later: Now I get it, although I think it would have been a much better advertisement if it clicked through to the actual website.]

Sometimes it is better to stay in bed


Thanks to Carolyn (over on the other side of the world) I discovered the blog written by Kristen at Roq La Rue, which seems to be a wicked cool and kick-ass gallery (or as Dr. Menlo says "the best gallery in Seattle).

Now that I've gotten the introductions out of the way, I can point you in the general direction of two recent posts by Kristen (the first, the second) wherein she patiently explains what not to do when you're submitting stuff to a gallery and trying to get a show.

I've discussed similar stuff, but Kristen's is down and dirty fun stuff. Thanks again, Carolyn.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Yet another Canadian Artist makes it big!


Props and shout outs to Daniel Jolliffe, his Master's Thesis that he's getting (or got) from Ohio State University makes it into Wired News!

He hails from Victoria, British Columbia, which at first would seem to make him a prime candidate for becoming a superstar basketball player, but in reality should make Anne Walk, really excited, cause she's from the same province (which is a lot more than I can say).

How long until Mr. Tod Maffin (and the rest of the CBC) pick up on it?

Catching up with Jerome Delgado


I've mentioned it before, about how I've ceased commenting on the daily art critics here in Montreal. But one thing I've always liked doing is analyzing what and how they write. So I've compiled some lists of reviews. M. Delgado is the first to go under the magnifying glass. (Caveat - I am not certain if this is everything M. Delgado has published in La Presse since the 10th of April, but I figure it is pretty darn close).

From the thoroughly unscientific analysis, if you're an artist and want to get a review in La Presse, you need to show at a gallery with the address of 372 Saint Catherine West. Of the eleven reviews in three months, there are four that deal with shows at galleries. Two from the Belgo Building (372 Saint Catherine West), one right around the corner from the Belgo Building, and one in Old Montreal. A full nine of them deal with Government Sponsored Art (GSA). So don't sweat it, if you don't get a review, there are plenty more who are in your shoes. I don't know if this reflects on M. Delgado's being scared of seeing new places, or if it is due to the populist nature of the La Presse readership, or some weird editorial mandate. But it is there. The easiest way to get M. Delgado to write about your art is to have it shown in a museum.

Then the shoddy nature of the editorial process at La Presse, shows up time and time again. From the articles listed here, he states (in the article about Rodin and Claudel) that Detroit is in the state of Illinois, and in the same article, he somehow thinks that 59 and 69 add up to 130.

Then finally, the thing that jumps out at me most, is how uncertain M. Delgado sounds when he writing. He continually starts out in some sort of reporting manner - "first there is this piece, then there is this piece, this piece is made out of..." But somewhere around two thirds of the way down he switches into opinion - "I think that the piece by XXX shows..." I'd prefer if he would stick with one or the other. If he was a straight reporter then I'd be able to know what I was going to see. If he stuck to being a reviewer, then I'd be able to compare my tastes to his. Attempting to do both, he seems to end up doing neither, which doesn't serve the readers or the artists any good.

If you're interested in reading the aticles they are linked below.

April 10 - John Oswald at the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal and Pierre-François Ouellette Art contemporain.
Headline: Men and Women, all colors, united.
Key phrase: "manque de profondeur" [lacks depth].

April 24 - Suzanne Dery at the Darling Foundry.
Headline: A promising Dery.
Key phrase: "l'ensemble reste d'une belle cohérence" [altogether there's a nice coherence].

April 24 - Claudia Baltazar at the Gesù, centre de créativité.
Headline: Pleading for Fragility.
Key phrase: "Le clou, le coeur de l'installation, est à découvrir dans cette petite salle Sawyer presque cachée" [The key, the heart of this instalation is to be discovered in the Sawyer room, which is almost hidden].

May 1 - Julie Andrée T. at Skol.
Headline: In flesh and wood.
Key phrase: "Weather Report/Potentiels évoqués clôt de brillante façon une année au centre Skol..." [Weather Report/Potentiels évoqués ends the exhibition year at Skol in a brilliant manner...].

May 8 - la Manifestation internationale d'art de Québec 3.
Headline: Nasty Cynics.
Key phrase: "...il y a de quoi rendre Montréal jaloux." [...there are things that would make Montreal jealous].

May 10 - Montreal Museum's Day.
Headline: Montreal in 33 museums.
Key phrase: "un enthousiasme débordant de la part des organisateurs" [an overflowing enthusiasm on behalf of the organizers].

May 15 - Blue Room at Roger Bellemare.
Headline: Some Blues.
Key phrase: "En 15 oeuvres, Blue Room touche aux mille et un sujets qu'une couleur aussi riche que le bleu, élégante et dense, brillante et sombre, peut susciter" [With 15 works, Blue Room touches a thousand and one subjects that only a color as rich as blue, elegant and dense, brilliant and sombre, can sustain].

May 26 - Preview of Camille Claudel and Rodin at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec.
Headline: Claudel and Rodin in Quebec: An exceptional Duo.
Key phrase: "et une bonne part des gens du musée Rodin- une vingtaine d'individus ont fait le voyage, mais, étrangement, pas le directeur Jacques Vilain" [and a large entourage from the Rodin Museum made the voyage, except, strangely, the director Jacques Vilain].

May 28 - Review of Camille Claudel and Rodin at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec.
Headline: A passion carved by sculpture.
Key phrase: "Rodin n'a rien à gagner de cette aventure, alors que c'est tout le contraire pour Claudel" [Rodin doesn't have anything to prove in this adventure, however it is completely the opposite for Claudel].

June 4 - Article about Mirko Zardini being named director of the CCA.
Headline: The Third Strong Man.
Key phrase: "du même calibre que ceux qui dirigent les deux autres grands musées de Montréal" [of the same calibre as the others who direct the big museums of Montreal].

June 12 - L'envers des apparences at the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal.
Headline: Misleading images.
Key phrase: "Les 11 artistes composent un tout cohérent où la répétition, l'accumulation, l'appropriation et le grand format semblent être la façon de faire. Du côté québécois surtout" [The 11 artists make a coherent whole where the repetition, accumulation, appropriation and the large sizes seem to be the way of making. Especially by the Québécois artists].

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Last Night's Readings by Sean Carswell, Joe Meno & Mickey Hess


This is for all you out-of-towners. Last night the wonderful, stupendous, and amazing Sean Carswell, brought along the incredible and really good Joe Meno and the mind-blowing and extraordinary Mickey Hess and they all did readings here. They were joined by Jon Paul Fiorentino.

Not only did I get some pictures of all of them working their craft (although the one I got of Mickey is sorta goofy) but the entire night's proceedings were recorded. I have edited them (slightly) and you can download them, since you obviously didn't make it.

Zeke's Gallery Podcast

Mickey Hess's most recent book is called Big Wheel at the Cracker Factory. If you would like to hear what he did last night, click on this. [14:41 in length, and 13.4 MB in size]

Zeke's Gallery Podcast

Joe Meno's in the process of finishing up the final touches on Bluebirds Used to Croon in the Choir. In order to hear what he did last night, click on this. [8:55 in length and 8.6 MB in size]

Zeke's Gallery Podcast

Sean Carswell's latest book, Barney's Crew, was the catalyst for getting the guys here. Basically it was to promote the book. So go buy it, ok? It's great (although your copy is unlikely to be inscribed as personally as mine). Actually you should go and buy all the books that I wrote about here. However in the meantime, while you're waiting for delivery, you can listen to what Sean read last night, by clicking on this link. [18:09 in length and 16.6 MB in size]

Last Night's Readings by Joe Meno

Zeke's Gallery Podcast
In order to hear what he did last night, click on this
. [8:55 in length and 8.6 MB in size]

If you came here through some weird combination of clicks, and would like to see and hear the full show, click here.

Last Night's Readings by Sean Carswell

Zeke's Gallery Podcast
You can listen to what Sean read last night, by clicking on this link
. [18:09 in length and 16.6 MB in size]

If you came here through some weird combination of clicks, and would like to see and hear the full show, click here.

If you like what you heard, consider clicking on the button below, and donating some small change to Zeke's Gallery, thanks.

Reading Stuff


I was talking with a friend the other day about what the next book the reading group should read. The choice is between the following:





Friday, June 10, 2005

David Byrne's Call to Arms!


I confess, I read Alex Ross's blog, every day. Last week he wrote an article for the New Yorker about the history of recording (by the way, a very nice read). Then, last week David Byrne wrote a companion piece on his blog (which I confess, I don't read every day). What caught my eye, and got me all excited was this line:
people making music for themselves and their friends is now rare, at least for most people. People are now timid and afraid to make it, or at least to play it themselves. They can’t compare to the recorded sounds and mixes that everyone has become used to. But I suspect that will change. The social aspect will lead to new forms — to troubadours and poets who aren’t afraid of sounding occasionally unprofessional, to more ergonomic interfaces with laptops, and to the unheard and untrained meeting with high-tech virtuosity.
Which pretty much sums up what happens here at the gallery when musicians show up.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Blue Rodeo's HomeRun


A quick question (call me slow on the up take), as some of you know I listen to the local CBC drive time radio show called "HomeRun." All this week they played at least three songs by Blue Rodeo each day. They also gave away three pairs of tickets to their show. Interviewed the fine gentlemen in the band, and generally talked up the show incessantly all week long.

I wonder if the fine folk at the Gillette Entertainment Group paid for the pleasure of getting Blue Rodeo more publicity that they've had in town in years, or if it was soley due to the kindness and gratitude of the generous and caring people at the CBC?

And if money was exchanged, I'd love to know how much. I thought that the CBC had a policy of not accepting advertisements.

Robert Libman v. Zahra Kazemi


Since the borough of Cote Saint Luc shut down Ms. Kazemi's exhibit, there have been some new developments.

From today's Le Devoir: Mayor Tremblay doesn't want to get involved. After seeing his swift and decisive actions in L'Affaire Roadsworth, I would have expected anything less.

The ArtFag picks up the baton, with a brilliant piece of expository writing. (scroll down to the bottom)

Yesterday, Radio France picked up the story, via the Montreal City Weblog.

Yesterday's La Presse: Nicolas Bérubé writes an article about the sad state of affairs. While he mentions that the very same exhibit was shown in Paris, by the mayor of Paris, he forgets to mention that it had been previously exhibited here in Montreal at BlowUp.

As an aside, how do you think the censoring of art is going to play out with regards to the consultations the Quebec government is having with regards to getting the private sector to finance art?

And despite what René Derouin might write in Le Devoir, I would not be recommending to any artist that they come live here in Quebec.

Then we get the rest of the blogosphere joining in.
Jean-Pierre Cloutier
The Canadian Journalist Blog
Way Down Here
An Active Mind
3 Rivières- 2 Gars- 1 Blogue
Geezer Rants
The Original Bro-Log
Randy McDonald's Live Journal
Way Down Here
Then, what I find very interesting is that in Google News, the English Canadian Version coughs up 5 articles. While the French Canadian version coughs up 10 articles (including this one from Agence France Press). With no duplications!

But the best has to be Mr. Libman's response to an email that someone I know wrote, first the email, then the response:
-----Original Message-----
Sent: Thursday, June 09, 2005 11:02 AM
To: rlibman@ville.montreal.qc.ca
Subject: censorship at the cote st luc library

Mr. Libman:

Your censorship of the exhibition of the photographs by Zahara Kazemi is an insult to her, a misreading of sentiment in the larger Montreal community, Jewish and others, and a blow against freedom of expression. That you censor a photo exhibit taking place in a library only adds further insult, since where is there a better place for the exchange of ideas.

Zahara Kazemi was murdered because she fought for the human rights of all peoples. By refusing to let her photos remain on view, you seriously diminish the rights of Montrealers to see more than a censored view of a persisting conflict. And the failure to see more than a censored view is what sustains conflict, not what will lead to its end.

It is difficult to contain my anger and disappointment at your lack of support for the exhibition in the Cote St Luc library, and I must protest with others your most shameful action here.

-----Original Message-----
From: rlibman@ville.montreal.qc.ca
Sent: Thursday, June 09, 2005 11:56 AM
Subject: Réf. : censorship at the cote st luc library


Unfortunately, you are unaware of some of the circumstances surrounding what happened. We solicited the exhibition in order to support Madame Kazemi's son's quest for justice. We were unaware however that the exhibition, once organized with the accompanying text, sought to portray the State of Israel as an opressive regime. Israel is a modern, democratic country and the exhibition clearly equates and compares Israel to the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and the Mullahs in Iran. That is an unbalanced and offensive portrait of Israel and extremely sensitive in this community.

We were hoodwinked by her son whom we wanted to support. His refusal to give details about the content of the exhibition in advance exposes that he wanted to promote a secondary agenda, the demonization of Israel. We received complaints from numerous residents and tried to reason with her son to understand some of the sensitivity of a few of the photos. He was unwilling to discuss striking a compromise, even though the removal of a few of the photos would not undermine the essence of the exhibition.

Hopefully you could understand this very difficult and unfortunate decision.

Robert Libman
As far as I can see, the only way that he could have been "unaware" of the contents of the exhibit were if he was blind. Standard Operating Practice when running a gallery (and the Cote Saint Luc Library had previously shown exhibits, so it qualifies) is to go and look at what is going to be put up on the walls, before they go up. Then, if he (or one of his minions) couldn't be bothered to look at the photos beforehand, as La Presse wrote, it has been exhibited before in Paris. If he didn't want to got to Paris, he could have made the trip, or sent one of his minions down to Square Victoria to see it at BlowUp Galley. Then to say that he was "hoodwinked" by Mr. Hashemi is freakin' ridiculous!

If he is that gullible, then I strongly recommend that everybody go to Mr. Libman, sell him that bridge that you've been trying to dispose of for years, or perhaps you've got some swampland in Florida that he might be interested in. I'm certain that the voters in Cote Saint Luc are mighty happy to hear that their mayor is that responsible in his actions. It's a pity that Justice Gomery is taking up all the space the newspapers can allot to shady politics.

As I asked on Tuesday, who made the complaint, and how much did they donate to Mr. Libman's campaign? I would certainly hope that both of those pieces of information are public.

I called Mr. Libman yesterday, in order to ask him those questions (and tell him what I think of censorship in general) I'm still waiting to hear back from him. You too, can call him, at (514) 485-6936, or if you prefer, email him at rlibman@ville.montreal.qc.ca.

[Update - June 9, 2005, 6:30 pm: Cause I'm procrastinating, I discovered this. What makes it so interesting is that someone calling themselves "Librarian," wrote this:
I work at the library in question and saw the exhibit before it was taken down. One of my thoughts on it was it gave zero context to what was going in the photographs. To give one example, there was a girl holding a handful of grenades, at least one of which had Hebrew letters on it. What is the situation behind this photograph? Are these live grenades, dud grenades, spent tear gas grenades? Why is she holding them? Is it the Israelis' fault? The standard line would be to say yes, but what if they were grenades stolen from the Israeli Army by militants and given to girl as a photo-op? I don't know and there was nothing in exhibit to tell me. This wasn't the only ambiguous photo.

In addition, Kazemi's son used the term "Palestine" to describe the group of photographs in question. In Middle East terms, that is a loaded word, one distinctly pro-Arab. A more neutral term would have been far more diplomatic.

The thing is the population of Côte-Saint-Luc is 90% Jewish. The use of such a loaded word, is pretty much guarranteed to cause a fuss. I am suspicious that the head of the Library didn't take enough time to think about the potential problems before green-lighting the exhibit.

Once the complaint arose, the reaction was predictable. The Libary and City Hall seem to live in fear of causing a fuss. One complaint from the public about almost anything, no matter how petty or limited, can be enough to cause them to cave in. The administration has a tendency to give in rather than deal with issues. Unfortunately, they have been catering to their public too much and too often so that the public knows the timidity of the municipality and takes it for service.

I would strongly recommend against a symbolic book buring protest. Some of our older patrons have numbers tatooed on their forearms. For protesters to use such tactics would only harden the prejudices of the community. Reach out rather than condemn.
So if I understand things, use of the word "Palestine" will get you thrown out of the Library? It would also be sort of fun to do an experiment, and get a picture of an Israeli child holding a grenade with hebrew writing on it, and see what sort of fuss followed.]

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Read This! Canada!!


I hope that you're free and available on Saturday. I got four kick-ass writers coming in to read here. Each one is gonna be better than the next. Things will get rolling at 7:30.

Sean Carswell, Mickey Hess, Joe Meno and Jon Paul Fiorentino. If you want more details about the writers scroll down. Hope to see you.

Sean Carswell is a former carpenter, house-painter, dishwasher, pizza delivery guy, bartender, warehouse clerk, junior high school teacher, and construction slap. He studied writing at Florida State University, and has a Master's degree in Creative Writing from Northern Arizona University. He has performed readings at dozens of universities, colleges, bookstores, bars, art galleries, basements, etc. He's gone on several national, semi-national, and international tours and opened for the L.A. punk band X. Sundance Film Festival programmer Mike Plante adapted "Fifteen Bucks and a Cookie," a short story from Carswell's 2002 collection, Glue and Ink Rebellion into a short film. Actor Stuart Smith (Chicago Hope and Yes, Dear) performs a one-man show in southern California based on Framing Invasion, the lead story from Barney's Crew. In 1998, he co-founded an independent book publishing company, Gorsky Press, and published his first novel, Drinks for the Little Guy. Now, he also teaches English at CalState, and Ventura College, both in Los Angeles. He is also founder of the magazine "Razorcake."

Mickey Hess lives in Louisville, Kentucky. Author of Big Wheel at the Cracker Factory, (2003) Nobody Likes a Smartass, (1995) and El Cumpleanos de Paco (2000). One of Mickey's stories is included in the forthcoming McSweeney's Humor Anthology. He teaches writing at Indiana University Southeast. He is a passionate, funny man who loves to teach, encouraging creativity with sometimes very unconventional ideas (such as playing basketball with baby doll heads as a final). His approach to college lecturing has been compared to the delivery of Humpy Hump of the Digital Underground. He has written numerous academic articles, some of which incorporate his love of Hip Hop and Literature, the most recent being "Don't Quote Me, Boy: Dynamite Hack Covers NWA's Boyz-N-the-Hood." Which will appear in the Summer 2005 issue of Popular Music and Society.

Joe Meno is a fiction writer and playwright who lives in Chicago. His novels are Tender as Hellfire (1999), How the Hula Girl Sings (2001) Hairstyles of the Damned (2004). His online fictional serial, The Secret Hand, is published through Playboy Magazine, at playboy.com. His short fiction has been published in TriQuarterly, Bridge, Other Voices, Washington Square, Gulf Coast, Alaska Quarterly Review, and broadcast on National Public Radio. He is a three-time winner of the Columbia University Scholastic Press Association award, including prizes for the Best Traditional Fiction and Best Experimental Fiction. He has written eight critically acclaimed plays, and a film based on Tender As Hellfire won the national AFP grant in 2003. Meno is also a columnist for Punk Planet and an editor for Bail, a skateboard culture magazine, as well as the founding editor of Sleepwalk, a free fiction magazine.

Jon Paul Fiorentino is the only local guy in the bunch, his book Asthmatica (2005) has gotten rave reviews in every gosh darn publication that it has been sent to. His current poetic project is a book of synaptic syntax entitled Hello Serotonin (Coach House Books, 2004). His current editorial projects are the anthologies Career Suicide! Contemporary Literary Humour (DC Books, 2003) and Post-Prairie - a collaborative effort with Robert Kroetsch, (Talonbooks, 2005). He is also the Managing Editor of Matrix magazine.

If you'd like details on your own, you can start here:


Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Zahra Kazemi is the new Roadsworth


First there was (is) L'Affaire Roadsworth, and now the city is screwing up again. This time they decided to censor Zahra Kazemi's photos. Read about it here. (Hmmm, maybe the CBC arts coverage is getting better, two links from me, in one week!)

From what I understand, the Cote Saint Luc library asked Mr. Hashemi to exhibit his mother's photographs there, and then took them down after receiving one (yes, that's right, one, un, uno, 1) complaint. (I'd love to see how much that person donated to Mayor Robert Libman's campaign.)

As we've been through this drill before, can I suggest that you email Mr. Libman, and tell him what you think? (aww heck, his phone number is: (514) 485-6936 give him a call)

And then, if you'd like to see Ms. Zahra Kazemi's photos, click here, ok? Thanks.

Also, in the interest of full disclosure, I've spoken with Stéphan Hashemi (or Stephan Hachemi, I'm confused as to how he spells his name) and am attempting to get the exhibit of his mother's photographs here, as soon as possible.

Lastly, Roadsworth's next court date is June 20, less than 2 weeks away...

OK, one more thing, sorry, can I point out to you that the city just spent an awful lot of time consulting the public on the cultural policy for the city, and then gave Richard Florida $250,000 to shout to the world how Montreal is the best place in the world for artists to live. Umm threatening to throw artists in jail and censoring exhibits ain't exactly the best way to go about doing that.

Lenny gets to have all the fun!


Lenny, over at DC Art News got an email from an artist, where the subject line was "The Worst New York Gallery Experience in History." I can think of a couple of things that might have made it worse, but not many.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Statistics in brief from the Quebec Government


They released some interesting numbers from Statistics Quebec today. All about Museums. You can download the 12 page pdf file here. Beyond the usual bafflegab and gobbledy-gook, there is one thing I found very interesting. On page 11, they state that about 5,000,000 people went to museums in Montreal in 2004. If you remember, all the way back last week, the powers that be trumpeted that about 125,000 people went to all the museums in Montreal on "Montreal Museum's Day." So, if my math skills are still good, that means that 2.5% of their total attendance was due to Museum's day.

Then, it gets weirder, I went to the Board of Montreal Museum Directors website to get a copy of their annual report to see how much it cost 'em to get that 2.5%, and guess what? Apparently it was free! It didn't cost them a cent, and it didn't make 'em a cent.

Sounds sorta fishy to me, no wonder there is no accountant who signed off on it.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

More Stare


Since I'm repeating myself (see the post below) I figured another picture of the fine work by local artist Stare would work on this fine summer day.

If you'd like to see more examples of his work, click below:
The first picture
The second pictures
The third picture
The fourth picture
The fifth picture

Hope you enjoy 'em! (Today's picture was snapped by Jacquline Mabey, thanks)

Art Music


Dire Straits - In the Gallery
Robyn Hitchcock - DeChirico Street (a personal favorite)
David Bowie - Andy Warhol
Talking Heads - Artists Only
They Might Be Giants - Meet James Ensor (another personal favorite)
Paul Weller - The Strange Museum
Rickie Lee Jones - The Unsigned Painting
The Jam - Art School and Pop Art Poem
Modern Lovers - Pablo Picasso (a little risky)
Don McLean's Starry, Starry Night

And then there are the operas:
Hindemith's whole opera on "Mathis der Mahler" (the German 16thC. artist Mathias Grunewald) Cavarodossi (Puccini's "Tosca") was a painter - his 1st Act big aria "Recondita Armonia" is sung while he is painting a portrait of the Virgin.

Marcello (Puccini's "La Boheme") is also an (unsuccessful!) painter - working on his "Crossing of the Red Sea" and the drowning of a Pharoh.

Tamino (Mozart's "Magic Flute") sings his big Act 1 aria "Dies Blidnis ist bezaubernd schoen" (O loveliness beyond compare) to a beautiful miniature portrait given to him by the Three Ladies and which he then carries around with him.

There's also a portrait of Antonia's mother which switches back and forth from a painting to her ghost in the Antonia Act of Offenbach's "Tales of Hoffmann").

Feel free to pile on. Or more to the point, which ones did I miss?

More songs about Art


Picking up from last week:
"All This Useless Beauty" by Elvis Costello
"Picasso's Last Words" by Paul McCartney and Wings
"So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright" by Simon And Garfunkel
Mona Lisa by Nat King Cole
"Kurt's Rejoinder" by Brian Eno
Merzsuite by Tonio K.

Update, June 5: More here.

Edwin Holgate by Sari Mandel


It seems that this is Edwin Holgate's weekend. Michel Hellman, of Le Devoir writes about his retrospective in today's Le Devoir, and I would assume that it is Henry Lehmann who wrote the article in today's Gazette. But you can't read either one of them. However, there is Jacquline Mabey's review that I posted here last week, along with my thoughts from slightly earlier.

While I am still mulling over whether I like the Musée des Beaux Arts putting on an educational exhibition, I just got another guest post. This one from Sari Mandel. Her take is fairly different, than that of Ms. Mabey's or mine.
Edwin Holgate: Art beyond the Group of Seven

I'm a third year art history student and for a bunch of reasons that I'll get to later, I asked my father if he was familiar with the Canadian artist Edwin Holgate. This is how the conversation went:

Me: "So does the name Holgate ring a bell dad?"
Father: "Oh sure, Holgate, I know who he is." (I know my father is lying. I can tell from his tone of voice that he has no idea who Holgate really is.) "Holgate's claim to fame was the Group of Seven. He never became an official member, just an honorary one."
Me: "Well Dad, Holgate was invited to join the Group of Seven in 1929, but I am not sure his ties to the group define his artistic career."
(There is a brief pause on the telephone.)
Father: "Well then who is Edwin Holgate? What is so special about his career?"

Not only am I my father's daughter, I am also a young art historian who is constantly reminded that I know very little about Canadian art. This crazy guy with two first names recently asked me if I wanted to attend the press conference for the Musée des beaux Arts de Montreal's retrospective exhibition on Edwin Holgate. I enthusiastically accepted the invite. As it got closer to the date of the press conference I realized that I knew very little about Holgate's career. I Googled him and browsed some online art journals, and to my surprise I did not find that much. There was hardly any significant publications concerning the Holgate's career. This is when I called my father for help and evidently he knew as little as I had.

My father, being my father is the font of all knowledge in my family. Right or wrong he is the source which we all go to at one point or another when stumped. Despite my being wrong about my father's lying on the morning of the press conference I could not escape my father's words. Who is Edwin Holgate? What is so special about his career? Why would an established art museum, like the Musée des beaux Arts de Montreal, desire to organize a retrospective exhibition of an artist so inadequately recognized? Surely there was something more to Holgate's career, something independent of the success of the Group of Seven and The Beaver Hall Hill group. Guess what? I was right.

The exhibition addressed my concerns and answered my questions about Holgate. I really enjoyed the selection of his works and believe they have a lot to offer the unfamiliar viewer such as myself. (On a side note, my experience at the exhibition opening went smoothly. No one outed me for knowing so little about the artist, and in spite of the crazy guy's concern, I felt quite comfortable and content being all dressed up.)

So who is Edwin Holgate? What's so special about his career? The exhibition successfully emphasizes Holgate's individual artistic expression. In chronological sequence the exhibition explores the many stages and themes of Holgate's career. At once a draftsman, painter, printmaker, war artist, muralist, and book illustrator, Holgate's versatility is not only impressive but is a significant contribution to Canadian art.

Unlike members of the Group of Seven, Holgate explored a range of subject matters. The diversity of Holgate’s work, which includes portraits, nudes set in Canadian landscapes, war scenes, and depictions of First Nations cultures, suggests his personal and distinctive artistic pursuits rather than the collective and nationalist ones of the Group of Seven.

My personal favorites are Holgate's landscape nudes. The landscape nudes are refreshing and offer something very different than the landscape aesthetic of the Group of Seven. At once these paintings expose Quebecois scenery as well as establish the nude as a modern Canadian subject matter.

The female nudes are depicted amongst Quebec's countryside and appear as if preoccupied with their personal aesthetics and leisure time. I love that the landscapes were painted in Quebec during the spring/summer season. As the women in The Bathers cool their heads down with towels, the viewer really gets a sense of how hot and sunny the day must have been. Not that it would make sense for Holgate to have painted these nude women in the midst of winter, but as one who has survived several brutally cold and snowy winters in Montreal, I really appreciate being reminded of the warmer and brighter side of the province’s bitter climate. Although contrary to what you would think, Holgate would first paint the landscape, and then in his studio, paint the women, layering them over what he had already done.

Popular opinion suggests Holgate's landscape nudes have a Cezannian sensitivity to the physical world and form, and I could not agree more. In these paintings, Holgate's integration of the human figure into the background scenery reveals the artist's Modernist tendencies and a personal style focusing on form and contour. Both landscape and nude are consistent throughout the composition as color and contour remain fresh, pure and clean. The women do not appear awkward or uncomfortable in their surroundings, and it is as if their bodies have become one with the landscape itself. As a result of this consistency, the scene's natural beauty and heath is emphasized, and the viewer is discouraged to think of these nudes as erotic or sexual.

I recommend a trip to the Edwin Holgate exhibition at the Musée des beaux Arts de Montreal. The exhibition provides a great overview and introduction of his career. I am glad the Musée des beaux Arts de Montreal has chosen to expose such an unrecognized and talented Canadian artist and I can’t wait to tell my father that there is art beyond the Group of Seven.