Art Gallery of Alberta

New AGA season features 19th century French paintings by Monet, Courbet and more

19th century French photographs and contemporary works add to season tracing tradition of landscape art

For Immediate Release
August 24, 2011

EDMONTON, ABThe Art Gallery of Alberta (AGA) announces its 2011 fall/winter season of exhibitions, which includes 19th century French paintings and photographs, depictions of the Canadian prairies from the AGA’s permanent collection, contemporary multi-media works and a new RBC New Works exhibition that merges landscape painting with installation.

“The upcoming season of exhibitions explores ideas of landscape and place in different artistic media, past and present” says Catherine Crowston, AGA Deputy Director/Chief Curator. “This grouping of exhibitions looks at the legacy of 19th century romanticism, and some of the ways in which the concept and representation of the landscape have shifted since that time. Equally, the exhibitions trace how the advent of new technologies, from photography to video, have been used by artists to create new images, new interpretations, of the world around them.

Central to the fall/winter season is the exhibition A PASSION FOR NATURE: Landscape Painting from 19th Century France, on view from October 15, 2011-February 20, 2012. A PASSION FOR NATURE traces the development of the landscape in French painting from the mid-nineteenth to the early twentieth century through 37 masterworks from the golden age of landscape art. The exhibition includes works by some of the most renowned artists in the history of landscape art, including Claude Monet, Camille Corot, Gustav Courbet and Theodore Rousseau alongside other artists, including Henri Fantin-Latour, Jean Charles Cazin and Charles Francois Daubigny. The exhibition features examples from key art movements of the 19th century, including works by The Barbizon School, Realism, Naturalism, Impressionism as well as Symbolism, and demonstrates the power and directness of painting en plein air (in the open air). A PASSION FOR NATURE: Landscape Painting from 19th Century France was specially organized for the AGA by the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

The upcoming AGA season also includes five additional exhibitions that feature various interpretations of the landscape, which will open throughout September and October, 2011.

Opening on September 10, 2011, UP NORTH is an exciting new exhibition that brings together the work of four contemporary artists from three circumpolar countries: Jacob Dahl Jürgensen / Simon Dybbroe Møller (Denmark), Ragnar Kjartansson (Iceland) and Kevin Schmidt (Canada). Evoking nostalgia for the wild, romantic landscape that was pictured by artists in the 19th century, each of these contemporary artists uses the landscape as a site for an event in which the artist becomes the performer. This exhibition, curated by AGA Chief Curator / Deputy Director Catherine Crowston, will be on view until January 8, 2012.

Organized by the National Gallery of Canada, 19th Century French Photographs features 66 photographs from their extensive collection, including daguerreotypes, salted paper, albumen silver and photogravure prints made by some of the major pioneers of French photography. Works by Eugène Atget, Gustave Le Gray and Charles Marville, among others, trace the early explorations of this medium through subjects such as landscape, portraiture, street life, war, and the human figure. On view from September 24, 2011-January 12, 2012, this exhibition is presented as part of The National Gallery of Canada at the Art Gallery of Alberta, with the support of Capital Powered Art; an exhibition series sponsored by Capital Power Corporation.

PRAIRIE LIFE: Settlement & the Last Best West 1930-1955 depicts the Canadian prairies during a time when the Great Depression and the Second World War altered its reputation from a place of great opportunity to one of struggle and hardship. Images of both abandoned and working farms, small towns and growing cities demonstrate the era’s changing landscape. The exhibition includes works by artists such as Maxwell Bates, Llwellyn Petley-Jones and Ella May Walker, all drawn from the AGA’s permanent collection. Prairie Life will be on view from September 24, 2011-January 12, 2012.

Featuring works from the Art Gallery of Alberta’s permanent collection, State of Nature examines nature as a major theme in contemporary painting in both Alberta and Saskatchewan. The exhibition examines the connections and disconnections between works by some of the most important artists working on the prairies, and the art movements that shaped 19th the century including Romanticism, Realism and Impressionism. State of Nature runs from October 15, 2011-February 20, 2012.

ARLENE WASYLYNCHUK: Saltus Illuminati will be featured in the AGA’s RBC New Works Gallery – a space devoted to the presentation of new works by Alberta artists – from October 15, 2011-January 15, 2012. In this new installation, the artist has rolled abstract paintings into long tubes and will arrange them within the gallery space to create what appears to be a small stand of trees. By re-formatting her paintings to create sculptural forms, Wasylynchuk blends the histories of landscape painting, abstract expressionism and sculptural installation.

Exhibitions will be complemented by programs and events such as artist talks, exhibition lectures, film screenings and a range of educational programs for all ages.

UP NORTH
September 10, 2011-January 8, 2012

19th Century French Photographs
September 24, 2011-January 9, 2012

PRAIRIE LIFE: Settlement & the Last Best West 1930-1955
September 24, 2011-January 29, 2012

A PASSION FOR NATURE: Landscape Painting from 19th Century France
October 15, 2011-February 20, 2012

State of Nature
October 15, 2011-February 20, 2012

ARLENE WASYLYNCHUK: Saltus Illuminati
October 15, 2011-January 15, 2012

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 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. It is 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.

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.

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For media information, images or interview requests please contact:

Alison Bulloch, Media Relations & Communications Coordinator
T: 780.392.2468 E: alison.bulloch@youraga.ca

Oksana Gowin, Senior Manager, Marketing and Communications
T. 780.392.2466 E: oksana.gowin@youraga.ca