ARTISTS, ARCHITECTS AND ARTISANS: CANADIAN ART 1890-1918
National Gallery of Canada
08 Nov 2013 – 17 Feb 2014
“The exhibition Artists, Architects and Artisans looks at the interaction among artists, architects and artisans, as well as critics and collectors during these fruitful years. Painters produced murals and architects designed furniture, clubs formed to bring writers, musicians, artists and architects together while collectors and governments commissioned paintings, furnishings and sculpture for public and private buildings. Photography rivaled painting and crafts became applied design.”*
National Gallery of Canada’s new show: an ambitious Canadian epic
JAMES ADAMS / OTTAWA — THE GLOBE AND MAIL
Published Tuesday, Dec. 10 2013, 5:00 PM EST
Six years in the preparation, the exhibition, as its forthright title declares, offers a sweeping, trans-Canada survey of developments in easel painting, photography, murals, decoration, building design, urban planning, housing, book-binding, other applied arts and much else as they occurred in a country that, while no longer a hodge-podge of colonies, was more of a great notion than a full-fledged nation.
Does the show include clothing, I suspect not, what really caught my eye in this review was the following quote:
This homage or tip-of-the-hat to far-off influences and inspirations crops up repeatedly in Artists, Architects etc. As Hill noted, “There was not a lot of talk about doing something specifically Canadian” in pre-First World War Canada. Rather, “it was about trying to implant an art culture here from which other things could grow.” Grappling with rapid industrialization, waves of immigration and urban growth (Winnipeg’s population alone rose more than fivefold in 20 years, to 136,000 by 1911), the young country’s tastemakers and vision-shapers looked to Paris, London, New York, Chicago, Vienna, the English Arts and Crafts Movement, the 1893 World’s Columbian Exhibition, the City Beautiful Movement and Art Nouveau for touchstones in their quest to meld the aesthetic with the practical.
Clothing or not, Mr. Hill’s point seems an interesting angle to viewing just what makes CANADIAN DESIGNERS and the CANADIAN PUBLIC tick. Now to see the show and find out if it can tell me more…