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New National Gallery exhibitions celebrate important periods in Canadian photo history

New National Gallery exhibitions celebrate important periods in Canadian photo history

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by April 6, 2017 Exhibitions

Between 1960 and 2000, photography played an important role in contemporary society. Artists and photographers used the medium not only for expression in various forms – such as the creation of mixed media pieces – but also to send a message to society, questioning long-held truths and norms, exploring what it means to hold notions of sexuality and identity.

To look back over the major developments in photography over 4 decades, the National Gallery of Canada (NGC) is unveiling a new exhibition on April 7 featuring the works of influential Canadian artists. Photography in Canada, 1960-2000 showcases more than 100 images taken by 71 photographers, including Edward Burtynsky, Jeff Wall, and Suzy Lake.

The 4 decades covered in the exhibition represented a time that was “particularly fertile” for photography in Canada, says NGC Director Marc Mayer. Andrea Cunard, Associate Curator of Photographs with the Canadian Photography Institute, says the selection of images aims to celebrate both the diversity of photographic practices and its development as a contemporary art form and chronicler of modern life.

Wild Horse Race, Calgary Stampede (1958) by George Hunter. (CMCP Collection, National Gallery of Canada)

Edward Burtynsky, Nickel Tailings #30, Sudbury, Ontario (1996), from the series Nickel Tailings. (National Gallery of Canada)

Kunard, who selected the images for the exhibition, chose to arrange the photos thematically instead of chronologically. Across the gallery’s 5 different rooms, viewers will be able to see how the photographers and artists explore city life, sexuality, nature and portraiture.

Also opening on April 7 is the exhibition called PhotoLab 2: Women Speaking Art, a collection of 14 video and photographic installations by female artists. The exhibit invites visitors to “explore the power of language” through the works of Lorna Boschman, Susan Britton, Sara Diamond, and Jenny Holzer, among others.

Photography in Canada: 1960-2000 runs from April 7 to September 17, 2017. PhotoLab 2: Women Speaking Art runs from April 7 to September 10, 2017.



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