Saturday, February 10, 2024

Art in Ottawa

I haven't made it to the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) or the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) yet, but while in Ottawa, I visited the National Gallery of Canada for all the art and then we crossed the "border" to the Canadian Museum of History on the Quebec side of town in Gatineau.

I'm still not at all knowledgeable about modern art but it often intrigues me into the "why?? no really, why???" questions.  A metal box.  A black painted canvas with a single strip of yellow.  I like looking at it just for the brain exercise and confusion.

The religious pieces periodically grab my attention by how serious they take themselves.  So much emotion in every face.  Usually the detail is through the roof.  

The period masters always stop me for a long while, the Monet and Van Gogh tribe of painters.

For still lifes, portraiture, or mythical scenes, I tend to focus on the edges and see what odd things the artist incorporated into the background.  That's typically where you find the best lounging cats, hunted squirrels, or slinking demons.

Peek-a-boo owl...

Like, who are these people/ghosts/demons?

Gingers and their devil bugs.

But really what I went for was the early Canadian artists, both the First Peoples and the colonizers as they moved around the northern landscape and painted, drew, and carved what they saw. 

There was a "Group of Seven" (all men) who take up a lot of space in the museum.  I could see why.  Later, there were other official "groups" of artists that included women.

J.E.M. MacDonald

Lawren S. Harris

Arthur Lismer

Franklin Carmichael

Lawren Harris

Tom Thomson

Emily Carr

The Indigenous People's art is always fascinating, even if I don't understand as much of it.

The bear's like "You take my ice, I take your kayak"

The four above are by Nick Sikkuark.

The gallery I went into was for Riopelle. The exhibit moved decade by decade. He did huge pieces and moved from massive swipes of paint to mixed media.  I think the geese were my favorite of his.

But you know I can't leave a post without a hokey mention.....

There's a second large art museum in Ottawa, but I have to save some things to see next time, right?

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