It was fascinating to view the Picasso exhibition, “From Africa to the Americas: Face-to-Face Picasso, Past and Present and Here We Are Here: Black Canadian Contemporary Art” at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. It was presented side by side in the galleries. “The exhibition looks at the transformation in our view of the arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas from the end of the 19th century to the present day”. In this totally new perspective, it illustrates how Picasso was influenced by these arts in the early 1900’s, while enabling the viewer “to appreciate the immense and too often neglected diversity of the arts of Africa, the Americas and Oceania.” Among the many loans, works from the Picasso, Quai Branly Museums in Paris and the Almine and Bernard Ruiz-Picasso Foundation have been included.
A long-standing invitation to view a major collection at a prominent law firm in Montreal, led by one of the managing partners followed. The collection was started many years ago and includes 19th paintings along with cutting-edge contemporary Canadian artists. Outstanding works by Alain Paiement, Cindy Phenix, and Jon Rafman were most impressive.
It was a rare treat to visit Francois Rochon’s, Giverny Capital’s Collection in his museum-like office. He is a passionate collector and took the time to show us his vast and superb collection.
“For Francois Rochon, art is first and foremost an incredible passion; it is also the supreme investment”. “Art is the equivalent of a civilization’s testimony, the witness of the purest of its dreams, of its emotions and quests.” A large space was devoted to Marc Seguin, the multi media artist. Other well known Montreal international artists included David Altmedj, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, and Jon Rafman. Rochon has been collecting since 2000 and sponsors the Giverny Capital Award.