Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Fun without the frustration courtesy of the National Gallery of Canada


Just after the press conference at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal I had to hightail it (read: move relatively fast) up to the swanky part of Laurier ave in order to get fed by the National Gallery of Canada while they informed me (and the other 40 or so journalists in the room) about their upcoming exhibits.

In comparison to the one at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal it was a pretty gosh darn swanky do (read: fancy affair). Besides lunch (and the National Gallery graciously allowed volunteers from the gallery to come along) there was wine, and what I needed (and despite what everyone thinks) and enjoyed most was the art history lesson offered by Dr. Colin B. Bailey about Renoir and the paintings that will be exhibited.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, The Skiff (La Yole), 1875, oil on canvas, The National Gallery, London
Pierre-Auguste Renoir, The Skiff (La Yole), 1875, oil on canvas, The National Gallery, London

As my knowledge about art pretty much starts in 1998, and doesn't stray too far beyond the borders of this country, any chance I can get to easily learn about art from before 1998, or outside of Canada is welcomed. Apparently Dr. Bailey has decided that one of the paintings in the show is actually five years older than previously thought, and while I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, I'd still like to read what caused him to come to this conclusion (ie, it looks like I'm going to have to get me the catalogue). He also views the landscapes by Renoir as 'experiments,' which on first blush sounds like a pretty cool concept. They also have developed a website to go along with the exhibit, although I haven't quite had a chance yet to check it out, yet.

They then turned on a snazzy video, which went systematically through all the other upcoming shows. Personally, the Ron Mueck exhibit is the one that has me all giddy. And will be the cause of me being in Ottawa twice in one month.

As for the video, I told anyone who wanted to listen that it should be up on YouTube, I liked how they handled the Pascal Grandmaison show which will be going to the Museum of Photography, and Mitchell Frank's commentary almost made me laugh out loud.

Beyond that, I think everyone had a grand ole time, but I had to skidaddle back here to the gallery, because that is the one unfortunate result of going to all these swanky do's is that I'm out of the gallery and end up having to play catch up for at least a couple of hours.

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