Jul 152017

New Canadian & Indigenous Galleries
National Gallery of Canada
Photo: Ann Cameron

The National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa has replaced its former historical Canadian art galleries with a newly created space and a new presentation of the history of art in Canada. Works by Indigenous peoples are a part of the dialogue. The most stunning moment is the juxtaposition of the abstract and minimalist painters of the 1960’s with strong and abstracted sculptures of the Inuit artists who first came to an eager southern market at that time.

Canadian and Indigenous Art: From Time Immemorial to 1967 is in a more open space: gallery walls were removed and some re-situated, ceilings were opened, floors changed. The Garden Court has also been renewed with a design by the original landscape architect Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, who worked jointly with Vancouver landscape architects Enns Gauthier.

Many of the historical works by indigenous peoples, chosen in consultation with an Indigenous advisory committee, were borrowed from other collections. Light-sensitive pieces will be replaced by others over time. The Gallery has changed its collection policy to include both contemporary and traditional indigenous work.

For a critic’s take on the project, see https://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/art-and-architecture/national-gallery-of-canada-exhibit-showcases-an-unbroken-indigenous-arthistory/article35602063/

Curator Christine Lalonde and Michael Dangeli
at the NGC in Ottawa
Photo: Ann Cameron

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