Art Gallery of Alberta

More than 170 rare works by Henri Matisse featured in new AGA exhibition

Art Gallery of Alberta only Canadian stop for major exhibition; opens along with show of new works by Alberta Laura St. Pierre

October 18, 2010

EDMONTON, AB – The Art Gallery of Alberta (AGA) is proud to present two new exhibitions that continue its commitment to connecting Albertans with outstanding local and international art. HENRI MATISSE: A Celebration of Light and Line and Laura St. Pierre: Urban Vernacular open October 30, 2010.

The AGA will be the only Canadian venue for the exhibition HENRI MATISSE: A Celebration of Light and Line, which will be on view October 30, 2010-February 13, 2010. This is the first comprehensive exhibition of the printmaking of the great French artist Henri Matisse—a medium that played an integral role in the evolution of his visual ideas and his study of the human figure. The exhibition features more than 170 rarely shown works drawn from the collections of The Baltimore Museum of Art and the Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation, on tour through the American Federation for the Arts.

For Matisse, printmaking was an extension of drawing and an integral part of his artistic production. The works in this exhibition represent the wide variety of printmaking techniques used by Matisse—etchings, monotypes, lithographs, linocuts, aquatints, dry points and woodcuts— which have been augmented with paintings, sculptures and drawings from The Baltimore Museum of Art’s world-renowned Cone Collection. The integration of these works demonstrates the manner in which Matisse worked simultaneously in all mediums in his exploration of creative ideas.

The exhibition examines Matisse’s use of serial imagery, tracing the transformation of a subject from naturalistic representations to simple, abstracted images that provide an insightful and unprecedented look at the artist’s creative process. Created between the years 1900 to 1951, the works span 50 years of Matisse’s career.

HENRI MATISSE: A Celebration of Light and Line is curated by Jay M. Fisher, Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs and Senior Curator of Prints, Drawings and Photographs at The Baltimore Museum of Art. Fisher has curated numerous exhibitions and is the author of several publications about French art. He will give a Curator’s Introduction to the exhibition in Edmonton on October 29 at 6 pm. Tickets for this exclusive event are $20 for the general public and free for AGA Members.

The AGA will also present a special lecture by Matisse scholar Stephanie D’Alessandro on November 10 at 7 pm. Tickets are $15 for the general public and $10 AGA Members.

Tickets for both events are available online now at

HENRI MATISSE: A Celebration of Light and Line unites works from the collection of the Baltimore Museum of Art with Matisse as Printmaker: Works from the Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation, a travelling exhibition organized by the American Federation for the Arts and the Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation. The exhibition at the Art Gallery of Alberta is presented by Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP. The exhibition is accompanied by a full colour illustrated catalogue published by the American Federation of the Arts and available at Shop AGA.

Also opening on October 30, 2010, and running until February 13, 2011, is Laura St. Pierre: Urban Vernacular. The exhibition features new works by Grande Prairie-based artist Laura St. Pierre and is presented in the AGA’s RBC New Works Gallery, a space devoted to work by Alberta artists. Using our society’s most plentiful resource–trash–as a building material, St. Pierre transforms found urban spaces into temporary installation sites. St. Pierre captures these DIY dwellings—made from discarded objects like plastic containers, old DVDs and used tires—in large scale photographs. Her work reflects our taste for the fashionable and disposable, residing somewhere between the resplendence and absurdity of consumer culture.

The public will have the opportunity to meet and hear from St. Pierre on October 29 at 5 pm as she discusses her work with Catherine Crowston, AGA Deputy Director / Chief Curator. St. Pierre’s talk will take place within the exhibition space and is free with Gallery Admission.

For a full list of related programs please see the attached Backgrounder.

HENRI MATISSE: A Celebration of Light and Line
October 30, 2010-February 13, 2011

Curator’s Introduction with Jay M. Fisher
Friday, October 29, 6-7 pm
Art Gallery of Alberta, Lower Level
Tickets $20 / Free for AGA Members, available at

The Matisse Lecture: Stephanie D’Alessandro
Wednesday, November 10, 7 pm

Art Gallery of Alberta, Lower Level
Tickets $15 / $10 for AGA Members, available at

Laura St. Pierre: Urban Vernacular
October 30, 2010-February 13, 2011

RBC New Works Gallery at the AGA

Artists in Conversation: Laura St. Pierre
Friday, October 29, 5-6 pm

Art Gallery of Alberta, RBC New Works Gallery
Free with Admission / Free for AGA Members
Limited Capacity

Visitor Information
The AGA’s hours of operation are: 11 am to 7 pm on Tuesday to Friday; 10 am to 5 pm on weekends; closed Monday. Admission is $12 for adults; $8 for students and seniors; $26 for families (two adults and up to four minors); free for children six years old and under and free for AGA Members. AGA Memberships cost $55 for adults; $85 for families; $35 for students and seniors and $70 for senior couples.

About the Art Gallery of Alberta

The Art Gallery of Alberta is a centre of excellence for the visual arts in Western Canada, connecting people, art and ideas. The AGA is focused on the development and presentation of original exhibitions of contemporary and historical art from Alberta, Canada and around the world. The AGA offers a full-range of art education and public programs. Founded in 1924, the Art Gallery of Alberta maintains a collection of more than 6,000 objects and is the oldest cultural institution in Alberta and the only museum in the province solely dedicated to the exhibition and preservation of art and visual culture. The AGA recently underwent a major re-building project. Designed by Los Angeles architect Randall Stout, the 85,000 sq foot (7,900 sq metres) new AGA opened to the public on January 31, 2010. The new Gallery features three floors of premiere exhibition space; the City of Edmonton Terrace; the Singhmar Centre for Art Education; Zinc Restaurant; Shop AGA; Ledcor Theatre and an Art Rental and Sales Gallery.


Media contact:
Alison Bulloch, Media Relations and Communications Coordinator
T: 780.392.2468 E:

The Art Gallery of Alberta is a not-for-profit organization that relies on the support of its Members, donors, sponsors and government. The AGA is grateful for the generous support of the many public and private donors and sponsors who have made the AGA’s New Vision possible, as well as the ongoing support of the City of Edmonton, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, The Canada Council for the Arts and our Members.

Media Kit

Contact Sheet (1.3 MB, PDF)
Matisse Fact Sheet (144 KB, PDF)
Laura St. Pierre Fact Sheet (112 KB, PDF)
Backgrounder (148 KB, PDF)