Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Gallery

I headed up to the National Gallery of Canada a few days ago. The collection has had a number of homes since its origin, but has been in this modern structure north of Major's Hill Park since 1988. The place was designed by architect Moshe Safde, and occupies a prime part of the city. The sculpture you see outside of the main entrance is Maman, a bronze casting of the original by Louise Bourgeois, and it is big. People with a fear of spiders must still have a problem coming in through this entrance.


This view, taken from the ramp heading up to the exhibits, looks north to the park, and takes in buildings like the American embassy, the Connaught Building, and the Chateau Laurier.


I like views of the ramp itself, both heading up and down, which follow in respective order. There are elevators, obviously, so you don't have to take this route up.


When I come here I also like getting a perspective of Parliament Hill from the glass tower. I liked the way it looked in the early evening light.


The Gallery has special exhibits going on at present, as well as the permanent galleries of world art. The Canadian collection is presently off limits until spring, undergoing a reorganization for this anniversary year. As art goes, I'm starting this series off with two installations from late in my visit. The first are a pair of camels by the American artist Nancy Graves, dating back to 1968-69. They are life sized and use a variety of materials- wool, steel, burlap, animal skin, and more. When you first walk in on them, they look very realistic.


These two are collectively called Shapeshifter, by an artist from British Columbia, Brian Jungen, done in 2000. They are a composite of what we expect out of whale skeletons- but the material itself consists of plastic chairs, cut up and reshaped.

22 comments:

  1. Fascinating series, William! Thanks so much for sharing.

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  2. That's a great view from the glass tower!

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  3. Once you shoed the close up I understood the use of plastic chairs. Now the piece makes much more sense.

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  4. Another amazing building! You keep impressing me. And I love the art...especially the whale skeletons. I'd never guess plastic chairs in a million years!

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  5. It's possible that I might have a problem with Maman 😊 such an interesting visit to the museum, love the camels and how brilliant using recycled plastic chairs, that really is 'shapeshifting' ☺
    P.s. I'm fine William, bit of a shock, probably my dignity hurt more than anything ☺☺

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  6. @Linda: you're welcome!

    @Marleen: it is.

    @Red: it looks more real from further off, since there's a whale skeleton in the Nature Museum, but once you're up close, you really get a grasp of the material.

    @Lowell: they surprised me. Modern art for me, it depends on the particular piece. The camels and whales appealed to me.

    @Grace: Maman is very big, after all. If spiders got that big, we'd have real problems!

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  7. Lovely night scenes. Have a wonderful day!

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  8. That spider, or ones like it have been all over the world. I saw one at the Tate Modern years ago.

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  9. The first sculpture left me blank, but the others are fun.

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  10. Interesting art, I love the view of Parliament Hill from the glass tower, looks amazing.

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  11. I like your night views of the city, William!

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  12. An interesting array of sculptures though I'm not a big fan of nightmare-sized spiders.

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  13. I am very sorry that I can not keep track of your daily blog. But from time to time I am catching up.

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  14. i dislike spiders, but i think this one would be cool to stand under for a picture or 2. very cool. ( ;

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  15. That spidery entrance might give me pause. The whale skeleton from plastic chairs is pretty cool.

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  16. I've seen pictures of that spider sculpture before and I must say I would have a problem walking past it. I know my daughter would lol.

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  17. @Nancy: thank you.

    @Sharon: the artist does have a number of spiders out there.

    @Mari: thanks!

    @Bill: especially at that hour.

    @RedPat: thanks!

    @Kay: and this one is big!

    @Mariusz: whenever you can drop by is fine.

    @Beth: many people do!

    @Jack: I thought so too.

    @Debs: fortunately there are alternate entrances.

    @Orvokki: thanks!

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  18. One must feel very small in the giant hall, I suppose ...

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  19. Love the dramatic hall! I wonder who thought of using plastic chairs to build a whale!

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  20. Very cool place. We've been several times...

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