CULTURE & CONVERSATION

Posts from the ‘Art’ category

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At home in your skin

At first glance, they are hard-looking men. Then you see the scars under the pectorals, and read the stories on the cards. These are post-operative transgender individuals.

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Guns and roses

Upon entering the Salle Alfred-Pellan at the Maison des Arts de Laval, a large mural of sutured concrete covered in swirling groups meets the viewer’s gaze. Details emerge such as drawn rifles and small tanks.

Out-standing artifacts

If you’ve yet to hear of local performance artist Chun Hua Catherine (Cat) Dong, let me introduce you. Cat, originally from China, was schooled at Emily Carr and holds an MFA from Concordia. Her performances have spanned the globe—from Lithuania to Italy to Germany—and her work has been exhibited in North America, Europe and Asia.

Calling all artists

People need art. Buildings need art. Montreal architect Naomi Lane has just launched a consulting enterprise dedicated to linking up new spaces with creative people. She’s…

Liberation or assimilation?

When the Quebec provincial government unveiled its anti-homophobia campaign in March, it received some expected criticism. The series of ads, which run on TV and the web, features images of same-sex couples embracing, followed by questions about comfort levels. Some Quebecers wrote to the government, complaining that they didn’t want their tax dollars going to such projects. The price tag for the five-year campaign is $7.1 million.

Creating a world

The Arsenal Complex on Canning Street in Griffintown, just around the corner on Notre Dame Street West, is a beautiful repurposing of a former industrial building into a venue for galleries and events. The main floor has cavernous spaces for big shows (empty bottles of expensive beer left on tables attest to earlier festivities), while an ascending stairway takes you to the Division Gallery. The corridors and rooms, carefully finished, make for a pleasurable way to discover art. Past bits and pieces of the Collection Majuda (a private collection), this month you can wend your way to three rooms of recent work by Wanda Koop.

Artists get to work

Although the dog days of summer in Montreal can dull the appetite for cutting-edge, contemporary art, dockside snoozers beware. True, August is traditionally a quiet time in most galleries, with vernissages few and far between. However, for those who want to keep up with the vanguard of the young Canadian art scene, heed this call: drop that third glass of sangria, and head over to Galerie Art Mûr molto pronto. Until August 31st, Peinture Fraîche et Nouvelle Construction offers a remarkable showcase of emerging artistic talent from across Canada.

Awesome Art

This is an art exhibit that should not be missed by anyone interested in the contrast between form and abstraction, memory and experience. Opening under the umbrella of the huge Acess Asie month, its vernissage on May 4 at the Maison de la culture du Plateau-Mont-Royal drew a packed house, far beyond that of galleries on Sherbrooke or in Westmount.

Let the Good Times Roll

Dan Brault knows how to have a good time, at least as far as painting is concerned. In his current exhibition of new work at Galerie Laroche/Joncas, aptly titled “The Good Times,” the Quebec-based artist presents a vibrant, candy-coated universe in which cartoonish doodles, geometric patterns, and painterly gestures all bump and bounce against one another.

Motherhood Issues

To be content as a mother, you’ve got to love disorder. That bit of wisdom is embedded the title of Fréderique Ulman-Gagné’s current exhibition at La Centrale, one of Montreal’s artist-run centres with a feminist mandate. Aimer le Désordre showcases seventeen paintings depicting the artist’s role as a mother. By collaborating with her son, Ulman-Gagné creates dynamic works that speak of balance, routine, and the celebration of motherhood in contemporary art.

Images de Femmes

The all-woman art collective, Images de femmes, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year and will be featuring work by some 70 women artists. The official kick-off is today, Saturday, March 2, at 1:30 pm at the Mile End Library with a reception and vernissage. In addition to a sister art exhibition across the street at AME ART until March 10, workshops given by local artists are scheduled throughout the week, which culminates with Rythmes de femmes, a celebration of women and music at the Rialto Theatre on Sunday, March 10.

Virtual Jihad

Right now, 1.2 billion people in our world practice open defecation. Furthermore, nearly 200,000 political prisoners inhabit North Korean’s brutal prison camps and approximately 50,000 Iraqi refugees have been forced into prostitution- many of whom are girls as young as 11, 12. For the rest of us, these particular global inequities are not so disconcerting. Out of sight, out of mind, so to speak. However, for Iraqi born New York artist Wafaa Bilal, such escapes from awareness is not possible. That his feet are in two worlds – of both comfort and conflict – is brilliantly illustrated through his art, an art of activism.

New Skin for the Old Ceremony

The story of modern art in a nutshell: enter photography, exit the Académie. In the 175-odd years since Louis Daguerre invented his image-capturing process, figurative representation has gone by the wayside, subsumed by a flood of artistic moments, each more outrageous than the last.

20,000 Leagues Under

With remarkable precision and attention to detail, Ed Pien creates a shimmering, hypnotic undersea realm in his current exhibition entitled “Under Water”, on now at François Ouellette Art Contemporain. “Under Water” showcases eight of Pien’s recent papercut works—astoundingly intricate cutouts of 3M reflective film and shoji paper that depict marine life deep beneath the waves—and scores of ink and gouache drawings from his “Deep Water” series.