Art Gallery of Alberta

Monet, Courbet, Renoir among 19th century French artists featured in new AGA exhibition

Monet, Courbet, Renoir among 19th century French artists featured in new AGA exhibition

French paintings, prairie images and new works by Alberta artist Arlene Wasylynchuk among new exhibitions that trace the representation of the landscape in art

For Immediate Release
October 6, 2011

EDMONTON, AB– The Art Gallery of Alberta (AGA) is excited to open three new exhibitions in its fall season; A PASSION FOR NATURE: Landscape Painting from 19th Century France, ARLENE WASYLYNCHUK: Saltus Illuminati and State of Nature: Western Canadian Landscapes from the AGA Collection, 1980 to the Present will open on October 15, 2011.

Media Previews will take place on Friday, October 14 at 1 pm
Alberta artist Arlene Wasylynchuk and AGA Deputy Director / Chief Curator Catherine Crowston will be in attendance.

Please RSVP to Alison Bulloch, Media Relations and Communications Coordinator

The AGA’s major fall exhibition, A PASSION FOR NATURE: Landscape Painting from 19th Century France features 33 masterworks from the golden age of landscape painting by renowned artists, including: Gustave Courbet, Claude Monet and Auguste Renoir among others.  The exhibition traces the development of French landscape painting from the mid-19th to the early 20th century as the genre gained prominence and widespread popularity. Showcasing different treatments of the landscape in key art movements of the 20th century, Realism, Impressionism and Symbolism, the exhibition also reveals the changing dynamic that existed between rural and urban life at the time. On view until February 20, 2012, this exhibition was organized especially for the AGA by the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

In connection with this exhibition, the AGA is hosting a special lecture by bestselling author Ross King on Sunday, October 23 at 2 pm. Presented in partnership with LitFest, Edmonton’s Nonfiction Festival, the lecture will be based on King’s 2006 book The Judgment of Paris: The Revolutionary Decade That Gave the World Impressionism, which received the Governor General’s Award and was a finalist for the Charles Taylor Prize. King will discuss the contrasting careers of Edouard Manet and Ernest Meissonier while touching on the birth of Impressionism and the transformation of landscape painting as seen in A PASSION FOR NATURE: Landscape Painting from 19th Century France.

ARLENE WASYLYNCHUK: Saltus Illuminati will open in the RBC New Works Gallery – a space devoted to the presentation of new works by Alberta artists. In this work created for the AGA, Wasylynchuk blends the histories of landscape painting, abstract expressionism and sculptural installation through the re-formatting of her paintings into three dimensional sculptures. Lit from within, the work evokes an enchanted forest while highlighting the drips, splashes and washes in Wasylynchuk’s brushwork. This work can be read as both a new configuration of abstract painting and as a representational image of the Alberta woodland.

Arlene Wasylynchuck will discuss her work with AGA Deputy Director/Chief Curator Catherine Crowston at the AGA’s Conversation with the Artist: Arlene Wasylynchuk on Thursday, December 1 at 6 pm. This informal and engaging talk will take place within the exhibition space and is free with Gallery admission.

On view until February 20, 2012, State of Nature: Western Canadian Landscapes from the AGA Collection, 1980 to the Present examines the landscape as a major and recurring theme in contemporary painting in both Alberta and Saskatchewan. Recognizing its role in regional artistic activity, this exhibition examines the relationships between works created on the Canadian prairies and key art movements of the 19th century including Romanticism and Impressionism. Drawn from the AGA’s permanent collection, State of Nature features works by Dorothy Knowles, John McKee, Ted Godwin and Peter von Tiesenhausen among others.

Please see the attached Backgrounder for a full list of programs related to these exhibitions.

These new exhibitions join the recently opened UP NORTH, 19th Century French Photographs from the National Gallery of Canada and Prairie Life: Settlement & the Last Best West 1930-1955 to round out the AGA’s fall season.

For more information about current and upcoming exhibitions, please visit

Visitor Information

The AGA’s hours of operation are: 11 am to 7 pm on Tuesday to Friday; 11 am to 5 pm on weekends; closed Monday. Admission is $12.50 for adults; $8.50 for students and seniors; $26.50 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 $65 for adults; $100 for families; $45 for students and seniors and $80 for senior couples.

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 also 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.

For more information or to RSVP, please 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.