Outstanding exhibitions at the National Gallery of Canada this year
Gustave Doré (1832–1883): Master of Imagination —
a must-see this summer
The National Gallery of Canada (NGC) is offering visitors a rich exhibition program in 2014. Among the must-sees are major summer exhibitions: The Great War: The Persuasive Power of Photography, beginning on June 27 and coinciding with Canada History Week, which starts July 1; and the much-anticipated, North American exclusive exhibition Gustave Doré (1832–1883): Master of Imagination, organized in partnership with the Musée D’Orsay and opening on June 13. Next fall, the stars of the show will be the Canadian Biennial, which showcases the Gallery’s major acquisitions of new Canadian art; and Jack Bush: A Retrospective — the first full-scale retrospective of this unique Canadian artist —, organized by NGC director Marc Mayer and guest curator Dr. Sarah Stanners. Many other outstanding exhibitions will open throughout the year. For more information, visit gallery.ca.
“We’re always striving to offer exhibitions that impact visitors in many ways — emotionally, intellectually, and physically. Of course, the public can also learn a great deal from the enhanced labels and reading material that we provide, or by taking part in the education activities that we customize for every exhibition,” said NGC director Marc Mayer.
Gustave Doré (1832–1883): Master of Imagination
From June 13 to September 14, 2014
Organized in collaboration with the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, Gustave Doré (1832–1883): Master of Imagination is the first comprehensive retrospective devoted to this major artist. It will include prints, drawings, paintings, and sculptures. A hundred works, ranging from spectacular panoramas to intimate studies on paper, will be brought together to illustrate Doré’s great artistic diversity. NGC chief curator Paul Lang worked with Edouard Papet, chief curator at the Musée d'Orsay, and Philippe Kaenel, professor of art history at the University of Lausanne and an expert on Doré.
Today, Gustave Doré is probably better known as an illustrator; his notable works include Perrault’s fairy tales, La Fontaine’s Fables, Dante’s epic poems, and his incredibly successful edition of the Bible. He worked mostly at the more intimate scale of the book, but he also created paintings and sculptures of monumental proportions.
Doré also revived history painting in order to bear witness to the disasters of the Franco-Prussian War from 1870-71 and the consequent loss of his native Alsace. An incisive caricaturist, Doré contributed to the birth of the comic strip and the graphic novel. Visitors will be surprised by how familiar they are with Doré’s works. His influence on film and photography is a testament to this. For example, the Victorian London in Oliver Twist by Roman Polanski pays tribute to his illustrated book London, A Pilgrimage.
The Great War: The Persuasive Power of Photography
27 June – 16 November 2014
Although earlier wars had been documented through photography, the First World War represented a significant turning point for the medium. The official photographs reflect the planning, censorship and continuous need to generate public support for the cause. Meanwhile, the Allied Forces and Central Powers chose to use photography as a tool with which to develop strategy, spy, provoke and persuade. In sharp contrast to the political and militaristic use of the medium was the undeniable importance of its personal use, seen in the popularity of studio portraits of soldiers and their family members, as well as personal albums composed prior to, during and after the war to create permanent records of lives that were at risk. This exhibition brings together a diverse and remarkable selection of photographs drawn from national and international collections in an effort to illustrate the many important roles that photography played during the war. Ann Thomas, NGC Curator, Photographs, is the curator of this great exhibition organized by the National Gallery of Canada.
17 October 2014 – 8 March 2015
The National Gallery’s Canadian Biennial highlights the museum’s commitment to collecting contemporary Canadian art. Our goal is to seek out the best and most innovative works being made today by engaging with the diverse practices of living artists working across the nation. These artists create in a variety – and often combination of – media, from video and film to drawing and painting, photography to sculpture and installation. This exhibition showcases a selection of the Gallery’s most recent and significant acquisitions. It reveals the unique ways contemporary Canadian artists are responding to the larger social and political state of the world through their art and how they choose interdisciplinary modes of self-expression that transcend and explode traditional categories, materials and genres. The exhibition takes the pulse of contemporary art production in Canada as it becomes part of our national art history.
Jack Bush: A Retrospective
14 November 2014 – 22 February 2015
A mid-twentieth-century commercial illustrator turned fine artist, Jack Bush (1909–1977) became one of Canada’s most beloved abstract painters, an artist who also enjoyed a remarkable international career. It has been more than 35 years since the last major Jack Bush exhibition was mounted, an effort that focused only on works made after 1957. The National Gallery of Canada will paint a fuller picture of the artist, presenting works that span the 1930s to 1970s, including paintings, drawings, and commercial illustration, along with sections of his unpublished diaries to provide more depth for this fascinating story. The exhibition will provide a rare opportunity to explore the aesthetics of Abstract Expressionism, Colour Field painting and the St. Ives’ painters from a fresh perspective. Jack Bush is co-organized by National Gallery of Canada director Marc Mayer and Dr. Sarah Stanners, author of the forthcoming Jack Bush catalogue raisonné.
Each exhibition will be accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue, with insightful essays by the curators and guest collaborators. They will be on sale at the NGC Bookstore, and at shopNGC.ca, the Gallery's online boutique.
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Admission to Gustave Doré (1832–1883): Master of Imagination will be as follow: adults: $16; seniors and full-time students (ID required): $14; youth aged 12-19: $7, families (two adults and three youth): $32. Admission is free for children under the age of 12 and for Members. Includes admission to the collection.
Admission to The Great War: The Persuasive Power of Photography, the Candian Biennial and Jack Bush: A Retrospective is included in admission to the NGC Collection. Adults: $12; Seniors and full-time students: $10; youth aged 12-19: $6; families (two adults and three youth): $24. Admission is free for children under the age of 12 and for Members. Free admission Thursdays between 5 pm and 8 pm. For more information: 613.998.8888 or 1.888.541.8888.
About the National Gallery of Canada
The National Gallery of Canada is home to the most important collections of historical and contemporary Canadian art. The Gallery also maintains Canada's premier collection of European Art from the 14th to the 21st century, as well as important works of American, Asian and Indigenous Art and renowned international collections of prints, drawings and photographs. Created in 1880, the National Gallery of Canada has played a key role in Canadian culture for well over a century. Among its principal missions is to increase access to excellent works of art for all Canadians. To do so, it maintains an extensive touring art exhibition programme. For more information: gallery.ca.
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