National Gallery of Canada Announces Exhibition Program for 2014

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 Dor (1832-1883): Master of Imagination, organized in partnership with the Muse 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 Dor (1832-1883): Master of Imagination
From June 13 to September 14, 2014
Organized in collaboration with the Muse d'Orsay in Paris, Gustave Dor (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 Dor's great artistic diversity. NGC chief curator Paul Lang worked with Edouard Papet, chief curator at the Muse d'Orsay, andPhilippe Kaenel, professor of art history at the University of Lausanne and an expert on Dor.

Today, Gustave Dor 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.

Dor 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, Dor contributed to the birth of the comic strip and the graphic novel.

Visitors will be surprised by how familiar they are with Dor'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
25 June - 17 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.

Canadian Biennial
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.




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by Barry Kostrinsky