Tuesday, June 14, 2005

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].

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