Art update

The Arsenal Art Contemporain, MAC, National Gallery of Canada


The Arsenal Art Contemporain, Montreal. Photo courtesy of the author.

We arrived at the Arsenal, a 41,000 square feet exhibition space dedicated to contemporary art created by Montreal collectors Pierre and Anne-Marie Trahan. It opened in 2012 in a former shipyard to showcase their Majudia Collection as well as their Galerie Division, where young emerging Canadian artists are featured. There is a satellite space in Toronto. On view was a spectacular exhibition of Jon Rafman’s works, including “Manifold” which I viewed at the Zabludowicz Collection in London last October.  (See October 20, 2015 blog).


Pierre Trahan and Author

Last summer the MAC (Musee d’Art Contemporain) exhibited David Altmedj and Jon Rafman. This year the artists collaborative practice of Lizzie Fitch and Ryan Trecartin is on view. They have been working together since they met in 2000 and their practice includes video, sculpture, sound and installation. “Priority Infield” 2013 is a sculptural theatre containing four movies and and a sound track presented in five pavilions.” “Their work considers the changing nature of interpersonal exchanges and relationships through an exploration of the way technology and the Internet have reordered human subjectivity…” As Trecartin says: “I love the idea of technology and culture moving faster than the understanding of those mediums by people”.


Pablo Picasso, Minotaur Kneeling over Sleeping Girl, 1933, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. Copyright Picasso Estate / SODRAC. Photo Copyright NGC.

Our next stop was the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa to view “Picasso Man & Beast the Vollard Suite of Prints”.  The entire series of 100 prints was exquisitely installed for the first time in nearly 60 years. It was created for the avant-garde dealer Ambroise Vollard from 1930-1937 and is considered to be the greatest group of prints produced in the 20th century.  “The figure of the bull or Minotaur became essential to the construction of Picasso’s self-identity. As the Vollard Suite shows, this beast is, for Picasso. not simply a visual motif but an avatar of deep psychological importance.”

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