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Arts, Books

This Week in Canadian Art

Posted by Olivier / March 13, 2008

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My apologies to those expecting a "This Week in Montreal Blogs"- my laptop has been temporarily expropriated by Future Shop and as such I haven't had much opportunity to check out what's been going on in the blogosphere. Instead, I've been forced to interact with loved ones and actually initiate human contact, such as the book launch I attended tonight with a friend, for the Canadian art history tome "Beyond Wilderness".

I don't think I've ever seen a higher per capita number of designer glasses, but with good reason. The small crowd at the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada was chalk-full with art historians, art enthusiasts, art conoisseurs, and other art-type persons. This crowd was out to correct a major injustice in Canadian art: the perception that the Group of Seven's obsession with landscape paintings represents a general Canadian obsession with landscapes. As an art neo-phyte, I think I confirmed their mission: I have always had a slightly uninterested relationship with Canadian art, precisely because I associated it with paintings of rolling plains and majestic mountains and other boring stuff. Give me people and their strife, damnit!

Well, it turns out that Canadian art has always included a more urban, human-oriented focus, something that isn't appreciated if the focus is only on the Group of Seven. The authors of "Beyond Wilderness" display in their book a number of examples of Canadian painters who were more interested in urban settings than raw wilderness. Another art historian present, Esther Trepanier, mentioned her own work in that vein, cataloging Jewish painters in Montreal in the interwar years. It definitely doesn't get much more urban than Montreal Jews.

I left the talk with a newfound interest in Canadian art. Who are these Canadian artists actually depicting people, as opposed to the paintings of lakes and forests that seem to pop up in Holiday Inns all over the country? If you have a Canadian artist whose urban representations you find interesting, please post them in the comments, so I can continue my artistic education. Then all I'll need is some cool glasses...

Picture from painting by Canadian artist Edwin Holgate entitled "The Bathers".

Discussion

10 Comments

Alex / March 14, 2008 at 12:46 pm
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Yes, glasses are necessary. In fact, I'd appreciate it if the only art we knew had glasses as its subject. Still life, obviously. Good post.
jeff / March 14, 2008 at 03:06 pm
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Here's a few for ya from Quebec.

ZILON

http://www.zilonsonic.com/index.cfm

Hedi Taillerfer

http://www.heiditaillefer.com/
Sisi / March 14, 2008 at 10:59 pm
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Hey O, Roadsworth is someone really worth checking out; his work created controversy a few years ago and he's from right here. Here's a link:

http://spacing.ca/art-roadsworth.htm
O / March 16, 2008 at 02:11 am
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Wow, Roadsworth is great.

Tailefer has some cool, edgy stuff (I like "Citizen Pain").

Zilon is... a little beyond me, although I don't think I even understand what he does.

Anybody have anything else?
golu dolls / February 16, 2019 at 05:30 am
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nice post
kanchipuramsarees / February 16, 2019 at 05:30 am
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nice post
kanchipuramsarees / February 16, 2019 at 05:30 am
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nice post
herbal powder / February 16, 2019 at 05:30 am
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nice post

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