From the French countryside to Ottawa

This is a culture announcement! Calling all art lovers! The National Gallery in Ottawa is the only place in Canada to see for the first time in 25 years a major exhibition by the great Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh!

The exhibition is called Van Gogh: Up Close and it primarily focuses on his still lives of the outdoors. Also included in the exhibition is a selection of old Japanese woodblock prints and 19th Century photography. Both the relatively new field of photography and these far-east imports served to heavily influence Van Gogh along with other post-impressionist and impressionist painters, and the exhibition effectively draws comparisons in style between the three. Many of the works come from his time in France just after his arrival from his native Netherlands and his exploration in bright colours, as well as his use of a more loaded, violent brush. The exhibition is a great introduction to Van Gogh and other post-impressionists since it tracks the artist’s own introduction in the art style.

Another exhibition that one should not miss out on is Christian Marclay’s The Clock. A remarkably creative idea, Marclay stitches together a collage of scenes made up from films (black and white all the way to present day). The premise revolves around time, more specifically the clock. Over 3 years, Marclay has painstakingly taken moments from film that involves a clock, or reference to time, and in chronological order stitched them together. You can imagine the amount of work involved since most shots in movies are no more than a few seconds long… Oh, and did I mention the film in entirety is 24 hours long!? Not only that, but the film is in sync to the actual current time in the museum (EST) and therefore if you visit the exhibit more than once (at different times) you will see something different every time! Example: you arrive at 3:30, you will see moments from films where the time in the movies is 3:30! You will most likely find yourself inadvertently drawn in, even with the lack of a conventional plot. The artist effectively controls the viewer’s attention in waves, and you will soon notice ebbs and flows in the film. I myself managed to “lose” three hours to it! If anything, you will either be entertained, or perhaps walk away with a better appreciation for the passage of time, as I was.

Van Gogh: Up close and The Clock both are currently showing! Van Gogh will be in Ottawa until September 3rd, and Marclay’s The Clock has been extended once again until August 6th. Do yourself a favour and see both if possible, you definitely won’t regret it!

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One Response to From the French countryside to Ottawa

  1. Sandra says:

    fabulous post! thanks for the heads up Daniel

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