Oh, Canada

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Don't miss this show

I can understand the writer doesn't want to be a cheerleader for an exhibit of Canadian contemporary art without the exhibit itself providing good reason to do so. I thought it was a fascinating show. True, there is no theme, but with so many different artists and styles involved, a theme would be so broad as to be trite. The way round this would be a more focused exhibit, geographically, thematically, or in terms of medium, but that would be a different show. Congrats to the curator for putting in the time, and for exhibiting some not so well known artists (I think that takes more effort and involves more risk than just rounding up work by the biggies).
It seems to irk the writer that this project was undertaken at all -- that the work is designated "Canadian," rather than just art. Moreover, the writer suggests the curator is off base in suggesting that Canadian contemporary art is not well known outside Canada or widely exhibited. We could go round and round on what constitutes "well known" and "widely shown" with very little gain. There is little mention of the art in the show in his essay and that's a shame. There are a number of huge and provocative installations which are ideally suited to this museum, which is a real treasure and is located in a sprawling former factory complex in northwestern Massachusetts (about 1 hour from Albany, NY, 3 hours from Boston and 5 hours from Montreal). An interesting aspect of the show is that the work is very contemporary, much of it was done in the last 5 years. I am sure for most viewers (certainly me) this is new stuff, and that is as it should be. I hope anyone with the opportunity and an interest in contemporary art will go see this show and decide for him/her self if the work is worthwhile. It would be a shame to miss it based on this rather sour essay.

Tim Lehnert more than 3 years ago

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