Sunday, October 23, 2005

Art Gallery Extravaganza

Well, as much an extravaganza as you can have at an art gallery. Yesterday Bonnie and I (along with a friend from our building. That's right! We met a new friend!) took in the spectacle that is the National Art Gallery. It was spectacular! It was also a pretty long day: yet another museum that cannot be fully appreciated in one visit. Our first stop was the Christopher Pratt exhibit. He is a contemporary Newfoundland artist with a penchant for lines and empty space. His pieces are pretty amazing, in hindsight, as initially we were underwhelmed by the seeming simplicity. As we saw more pieces, however, we realized that he really is one of Canada's premiere painters. He had many scenes of his native NF, as well as some stark winter scenes (and some nudes, which made Bonnie giggle). The winter scenes struck me. I am amazed at the exactness of Canadian artists when it comes to winter scenes. For example, check out Joni Mitchell's 40 Below 0. Pratt's winter scenes are cold to the bone, as well. For some examples of his work, see this site. An example of the winter scene is Benoit's Cove: Sheds in Winter found under the "Subjects" heading.
The rest of the Art Gallery was equally impressive. From the Pratt exhibit we went to the Canadian Galleries and saw all sorts of weird stuff. As we started in contemporary and worked our way back, it took us a while to get to the Group of Seven. That room, for me, was the highlight. Again, I was struck by Arthur Lismer's Forest in Winter. From there we made our way through the rest of the Canadian paintings, which, by contrast, was pretty boring. Then we checked out the European and American section. We realized immediately that it could not be done. We needed another 2 hours to check out the rest of the gallery! It was incredible. We did scoot through in order to see Voice of Fire, the 5 metre monstrosity consisting of three stripes: blue, red, blue. It is infamous because the Canadian government paid $3 million or something like that for it in 1989. Anyhoo, it is not that impressive. More impressive was the El Greco or the Van Gogh or The Death of General Wolfe. We'll definitely have to go back soon. It only costs $6, and half-price on Sundays!

1 comment:

Scott McC said...

Nice. I did some gallery going yesterday, too, at the Philly Art Museum. It's "pay what you want all day" on Sundays (regularly $12, so I choose to pay $5 on Sundays). It's a really impressive museum, rivaling any of the big ones I've been to in Europe. I ran into two former students there which limited my time in the 1850-1900 section (my favorite), but I usually visit the gallery every 6 months or so anyway. Congrats on the new friend.