Summer Blockbusters from Coast-to-Coast

Saint John the Baptist in the Wilderness (1604-05): Oil on canvas,  172.7 x 132.1 cm. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri.  Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust. Photo: Jamison Miller.Saint John the Baptist in the Wilderness (1604-05): Oil on canvas, 172.7 x 132.1 cm. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri. Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust. Photo: Jamison Miller.Ottawa

Caravaggio and His Followers in Rome
National Gallery of Canada
To September 11, 2011

Organized in conjunction with the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, this exhibition is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see rarely travelled works by one of history’s most important and legendary painters. Caravaggio and His Followers in Rome brings together a dozen of the Italian master’s paintings along with more than 40 works by other great artists, including Peter Paul Rubens, who he inspired. Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio’s (1571 – 1610) career lasted less than two decades and, although he never lacked for commissions or patrons during his lifetime, fewer than 70 of his works survive. Although he is now known as much for his notorious lifestyle, it is his innovations in the use of chiaroscuro to heighten the emotional impact of his paintings that changed the course of art history.


Claude Cahun: Self-portrait [as weight trainer], 1927 (printed  2011): Inkjet print. Jersey Heritage Collection.Claude Cahun: Self-portrait [as weight trainer], 1927 (printed 2011): Inkjet print. Jersey Heritage Collection.Vancouver

The Colour of My Dreams: The Surrealist Revolution in Art
Vancouver Art Gallery
To September 25, 2011

The most comprehensive exhibition of Surrealist art ever to be shown in Canada features 350 works – paintings, sculptures, collage, photography and film – by André Breton, Salvador Dalí (represented by his “Lobster Telephone”), Max Ernst, René Magritte, Joan Miró, Alberto Giacometti, Brassaï, André Masson, Man Ray and many others. The exhibition also examines, for the first time, the Surrealists’ passionate interest in indigenous art of the Pacific Northwest and the little-known influence of early cinema, such as Murnau’s Nosferatu and Charlie Chaplin’s films, on the development of Surrealist film. The exhibition is also note-worthy for its inclusion of several women artists, including painter Leonora Carrington and French photographer Claude Cahun, whose staged, fantastical self-portraits are among the most direct examinations of androgyny in the history of art. 


General Idea: Nazi Milk (1979): Lacquer on vinyl, 225 x 180 cm.  Private collection, France. Image courtesy Galérie Frédéric Giroux,  Paris.General Idea: Nazi Milk (1979): Lacquer on vinyl, 225 x 180 cm. Private collection, France. Image courtesy Galérie Frédéric Giroux, Paris.Toronto

General Idea: Haute Culture
Art Gallery of Ontario
Opens July 30, 2011 

The first large-scale retrospective of the work of influential art collective General Idea brings together 300 rarely seen works in a wide range of media, including paintings, sculpture, videos and publications. The Toronto-based trio of Jorge Zontal (1944-1994), Felix Partz (1945-1994) and AA Bronson (born 1946) produced media-savvy, politically engaged, visually arresting and thoughtful work in their 24 years of art-making, including the now-iconic “Imagevirus” paintings, posters and prints from the late-80s/early-90s, which feature the word AIDS stacked and brightly coloured in the same way as American Pop artist Robert Indiana’s LOVE paintings from the 1960s. Also be prepared to be amused and scandalized by the group’s “Mondo Cane Kama Sutra” paintings, which picture an orgy of geometric poodles having a go at each other, and the “Nazi Milk” images, which picture a young blond man (named Billy, apparently) enjoying a glass of milk. Both series were parts of larger projects that critique the role of the artist and the art market. Organized in collaboration with the Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris.


Jean-Paul Gaultier: Les Actrices collection (Barbarella corset):  Haute Couture Fall/Winter, 2009-2010. @Patrice Stable/Jean Paul  Gaultier. Courtesy the Montreal Museum of Fine Art.Jean-Paul Gaultier: Les Actrices collection (Barbarella corset): Haute Couture Fall/Winter, 2009-2010. @Patrice Stable/Jean Paul Gaultier. Courtesy the Montreal Museum of Fine Art.Montreal

The Fashion World of Jean-Paul Gaultier
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
To October 2, 2011

Subtitled “From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk”, this is the first international touring exhibition devoted to the French designer Jean-Paul Gaultier, who was once dubbed the enfant terrible of the fashion world. Arguably one of the most important and influential fashion designers of the past several decades, Gaultier’s designs reflect an understanding of the multicultural world we live in and all of the conflicting social, sexual and aesthetic codes that go along with it. The exhibition features approximately 140 ensembles, mainly from the designer’s couture collections, created between the early-70s to the present day. The show is augmented by sketches, stage costumes (including two of Madonna’s infamous corsets from her 1990 “Blonde Ambition” tour), and clips from films by the likes of Pedro Almodovar and Peter Greenaway, runway shows, videos, dance performances and television programs. The museum collaborated with the Quebec-based UBU/Compagnie de création in the design of a multimedia creation centred on animations of thirty faces talking about Gaultier’s work via an ingenious projection system. The inclusion of works by Cindy Sherman, Erwin Wurm and Andy Warhol illustrate how Gaultier’s influence has entered in the world of visual art, as well. Organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the exhibition travels to the Dallas Museum of Art in November, 2011 and other international venues throughout 2012.


Andy Warhol: Campbell’s Soup Can (Chicken Noodle), 1968: Screen  print on paper, 35 x 23-1/8 inches. Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburg,  Founding Collection. © Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts,  Inc./SODRAC, 2011.Andy Warhol: Campbell’s Soup Can (Chicken Noodle), 1968: Screen print on paper, 35 x 23-1/8 inches. Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburg, Founding Collection. © Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./SODRAC, 2011.Edmonton

Andy Warhol: Manufactured
Art Gallery of Alberta
To August 21, 2011

The only Canadian stop for this touring exhibition, Andy Warhol: Manufactured is the largest exhibition of this hugely influential artist’s work to appear in Edmonton. Providing a glimpse into his philosophy of life, celebrity and American culture, the exhibition demonstrates Warhol’s development as an artist over each decade of his career, including early drawings and commercial illustrations from the 1950s, iconic works of the 1960s, including his silkscreens of Campbell’s soup cans and Marilyn Monroe, video and film work (including film screenings of his over-two-hour-long, split-screen opus Chelsea Girls from 1966), and works just prior to Warhol’s death in 1987. In addition, the exhibition includes an installation of the American Pop Artist’s “Silver Clouds”. Originally created in 1966, "Silver Clouds" was recreated for The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. The metalized plastic forms are inflated with helium and left to float through the room freely. A series of related events includes a screening, on August 11, of a biography of the New York-based painter Jean-Michel Basquiat, with whom Warhol collaborated.