The National Gallery of Canada has reopened after the most recent pandemic lockdown with a new exhibition of Rembrandt and a lofty new vision for its future that aims to connect to more diverse voices and audiences through critical conversations in art. In this vain they have taken what was slated to be a pretty standard Rembrandt exhibition and infused it with Black and Indigenous voices and artists that broaden the scope of the exhibition to reflect on the time period that Rembrandt lived in and how it connects to colonization and the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. The exhibition runs until September 6th so there are still a few more weeks to see it!
Àbadakone|Continuous Fire|Feu continuel at the National Gallery of Canada had ended after an amazing (an extended run thanks to Covid). This amazing exhibition featuring the work of more than 70 international contemporary Indigenous artists from 16 countires is one of those exhibitions that makes the National Gallery of Canada a special institution. Even though this exhibition is over I wanted to share some images of it.
The Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo was the home of the two famed Mexican artists in the southern San Ángel neighbourhood of Mexico City. The striking modern house, not far from Kahlo’s family home was built by Mexican architect and painter Juan O’Gorman. The house was a joint design project between the three artists, O’Gorman even had his own separate section of the house. The house is unique, not just in its modern design but also because it was divided into different buildings to allow each artist to have their own private area and studio but still be connected to each other. Rivera and Kahlo’s part of the home is connected by a rooftop bridge that is visually reflective of their relationship. The couple only lived in the house from 1934-1940.
On our way home from a little weekend trip to northern Québec we decide to take a little detour to pass through Québec City to see the exhibition Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Mexican Modernism: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec. I had hoped to write a little review of this exhibition but instead I’m going to share my experience of visiting a blockbuster exhibition in the time of Covid-19.
The Frida Kahlo Museum in Mexico City’s Coyoacán neighbourhood is the top tourist attraction in the city. This vibrant blue house known as Casa Azul was actually the family home of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. It is now a museum dedicated to the artist where you can see some of her artwork, walk through her home and studio, and explore her beautiful garden.
Ravenna is a relatively small city in Northern Italy but it has a lot of history! I visited Ravenna back in 2014 when I was studying art history in Venice. Ravenna is home to important late Roman and Byzantine architecture and eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Ravenna is home to some of the most amazing mosaics in Europe and is definitely an under visited city! If you’re visiting the area and wondering what there is to do, here is little guide for you!
Last time I was down around Toronto I stopped into the Art Gallery of Ontario to see their new exhibition, Brian Jungen Friendship Centre (June 20 – August 25, 2019). Jungen is a Dane-Zaa / Swiss artist based in British Columbia. Although a lot of his artwork is related to his Indigenous heritage he also looks at issues of environmentalism and consumerism. Jungen is probably best know for his mask sculptures that use Nike Air Jordan sneakers to create Indigenous style masks. The new exhibition at the AGO is the largest exhibition of his work and is meant to be an in-depth exploration of his artwork.
Venice holds a special place in my heart. In 2014, I had the opportunity to study for a month through a special art history program at Queen’s University. Then I returned in 2016 as an intern at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. Now I’m sharing my ultimate guide to Venice because it’s not the easiest city to navigate, so get ready because it’s a long one!
A little while has past since I saw the Anthropocene exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario – AGO in Toronto, and it’s given me some time to reflect. Since then I’ve even gone back to the National Gallery of Canada to see their iteration of the exhibition again, read my review here! It’s hard not to compare and contrast the two approaches to the exhibition and its design since I studied curating in university so now going to exhibitions I find it really hard not to critic everything from wall colour, text panels and lighting to the overarching curatorial idea and artworks themselves. But it’s also rare that you get to see essentially the same exhibit done in two different ways.