Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Musée des beaux arts & the Galerie National get it


Ok, I just found some time to write about a wicked cool event I was at this morning. The National Gallery and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts got together to impress the heck out of a bunch of free-loaders like myself. They were effective.

Basically from this summer through the summer of 2007, the National Gallery of Canada along with the help of a bunch of other museums across the country have decided that we have to view Emily Carr's paintings (and her life) slightly differently than we used to.

In order to do this, they are touring a New and Improved! Emily Carr retrospective all over this fine country. Since they are touring this New and Improved! Emily Carr retrospective only to the finest museums in this country, they decided that they should do some sort of dog and pony show in advance of the New and Improved! Emily Carr retrospective showing up.

Or in other words, do you remember how your mom would tell you to comb your hair and wear a shirt that wasn't wrinkled before you met someone that she thought was important? Well, it seems to me, that because the Canadian Arts Press Corps is so pathetic, that the National Gallery has come to the same conclusion as your mother. Tell them once nicely (heck there was lunch and lots of wine involved) and then follow up more firmly if necessary (remember how your mom would then whack you upside the head if you burped?)

I guess I'm going to get whacked upside the head, 'cuz to be honest I'm looking forward to a New and Improved! Emily Carr retrospective as much as I'm looking forward to a New and Improved!! laundry detergent from Proctor & Gamble. In the same way I just want my clothes clean, I just want to see the paintings. Nonetheless, I can see how certain powers that be think that those exclamations points after the "w" and "ed" will get fannies in the door.

But what I really liked and what seriously turned my crank is because there is only so much New and Improved! Emily Carr retrospective that any one brain can handle at a time that the powers that be chose also to let everybody know about the programming from here to eternity. There are some shows that pretty darn kick-ass (feel free to whack me upside the head, if they end up sucking, and I am guilty of believing the hype).

What appears to be great stuff coming to Montreal:
Girodet, Romantic Rebel. While I'm not keen on it starting in Cleveland, having the Louvre, the Metropolitan, and the Art Institute of Chicago impresses the heck out of me. I hadn't heard of him before. But, I got told by someone who knows way more than me, that not only is he important, but he was also gay. October 12, 2006 to January 21, 2007.

Maurice Denis: Earthly Paradise. No, I'd never heard of him either. In the power point presentation (yes, they do it in museums, too) his paintings looked pretty darn cool, then, toss in the Musée d'Orsay and Museo d'arte (mumble the other Italian words that I can't pronounce) Roverto, I get very impressed (ie from my understanding they know what they are doing). February 22, 2007 to May 20, 2007.

What appears to be alright stuff coming to Montreal:
Il modo Italiano. Ummm, suffice it to say, I'm looking to leverage my insider/outsider status to have some fun. Details to follow. May 4 to August 27, 2006

Sound & Vison. Photographic and Video Images in Contemporary Canadian Art. Ummm, the powers that be decide to make decisions for me about stuff that I know about. Guaranteed recipe for disagreement. Then tell me that Genvieve Cadieux is getting wall space, and I'm ready to spit bullets. On the flipside, I can't think of a single show that Stephane Aquin has curated (and I'm assuming he's curating) that I've haven't completely flipped over, thinking it was the best thing since sliced bread. June 29 to October 22, 2006

ItuKiagâttsa! I don't think I would be able to live more than another 48 hours if I mocked Inuit art. Someone would take a contract out on me. So I'm not taking any chances. I'm looking forward to this show as much as I am looking forward to my next tisane. June 29 to October 8, 2006

What appears to be stuff that will cause me to be embarrassed to be living in Montreal while these show are happening:
Once upon a time: Disney. I would respectfully request that they rename the exhibit "Let's see how much money we can take from your wallet through the use of the word "Disney." I'd also like to know how much it cost them to license the word. And why someone decided to pander to the lowest common denominator in order to get fannies into the museum. I would have preferred to get an exhibit dedicated to Three's Company. At least Suzanne Sommers didn't try to hide behind anything other than a really tight t-shirt.

Then the stuff coming that will get me off my fat butt to go to Ottawa or elsewhere to go see it:
Cai Guo-Qiang; Long Scroll. Art made with fireworks, sparklers, explosions, and things that go bang. Loudly. Why wouldn't you drive four hours to go see it? June 10 to October 1, 2006 in Shawinigan.

Stuff that might get me to move my fat butt to go to Ottawa if I can't come up with some reasonable excuse to stay here:

Clarence Gagnon. The idea of a homeboy getting national press always warms the cockles of my heart. I'm not entirely certain it's the right homeboy (couldn't they have come up with a New! and Improved!! Borduas?). For the record, I can be bought for a first class train ticket and a case of beer. October 6, 2006 to January 7, 2007.

Edwin Holgate. I really like the man, I really like the show, but I've already seen it. I don't think I need to travel to see it again. In 20 years if someone comes up with a New! and Improved!! Edwin Holgate then we can discuss getting me to move.

The stuff where I'm going to need cold hard cash to get my fat butt out of my chair:
Acting the Part: Photography as Theatre. See what I wrote about the Disney show coming to Montreal, then spit hard on this invitation to this show and kick anyone responsible in the shins, hard. Let me remind you, it is the artists who make the art. Not the museum, not the curator. It is the viewer who appreciates the art, not the museum, not the curator. From the four color glossy hand out I got about this show, it appears that it is all about the museum and the curators. June 16 to October 1, 2006

Apologies for the lack of links, but it is now after 6 pm, I was at the event at 11 am, and I haven't gotten a lick of work done in between. If you'd like more info try this:
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
or this:
National Gallery of Canada

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