March 26, 2019 - National Gallery of Canada - Canada and Impressionism: New Horizons
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March 26, 2019

National Gallery of Canada

Helen McNicoll, Sunny September, 1913. Oil on canvas, 92 × 107.5 cm. Private collection, Toronto.

Canada and Impressionism: New Horizons
Featuring more than 120 works of Canadian art made between 1880 and 1930
July 19, 2019–September 27, 2020

Kunsthalle München
Kunsthalle der Hypo-Kulturstiftung Theatinerstraße 8
80333 Munich
Germany

www.gallery.ca

Canada and Impressionism: New Horizons
Featuring more than 120 works of Canadian art made between 1880 and 1930
July 19, 2019–September 27, 2020

Kunsthalle München
Kunsthalle der Hypo-Kulturstiftung Theatinerstraße 8
80333 Munich
Germany

www.gallery.ca

The National Gallery of Canada’s ground breaking exhibition Canada and Impressionism launches European tour this summer. 

Presented in collaboration with Kunsthalle München, Fondation de l’Hermitage and Musée Fabre, the National Gallery of Canada is pleased to announce a new exhibition opening in Munich this July. Canada and Impressionism: New Horizons will introduce major Canadian artists who advanced the cause of Impressionism in Canada at the turn of the 20th century.

Organized by the National Gallery of Canada and curated by Katerina Atanassova, the Gallery’s Senior Curator of Canadian Art, this exhibition reveals as much about Canada as it does about the creative minds of the Canadian Impressionists who, for most of them, remained unknown beyond the boundaries of their homeland.

“This is a missing chapter in the history of Impressionism that needed to be explored and explained to audiences abroad and at home,” said Atanassova. “Although recognized individually for their achievements on the Canadian art scene, the contributions of the Canadian Impressionists as a whole remain not adequately contextualized. This exhibition aims to fill those gaps.”

While residing in France during their studies and travels across Europe, and taking their lead from the French Impressionists, including Monet, Renoir, Pissarro and others, the Canadians forged their own approach to painting scenes that sought to capture the fleeting moment. Upon their return to Canada, these artists developed new and varied forms of Impressionism inspired by the incomparable light and landscapes of the North.

The works in this exhibition are grouped into seven thematic sections: On the Road to Impressionism: Canadian Artists Abroad; Impressions of France: Canadians in the Countryside; Canadian Artists at the Water’s Edge; Youth and Sunlight: Reflections of Childhood; Quiet Pursuits: Women at Leisure; A Journey Home: Canadian Impressionists Return; and Painting Canada: From Impressionism to Modernism.

The exhibition will also feature seminal works by leading female artists such as Mary Bell Eastlake, Emily Carr, Prudence Howard and Sophie Pemberton, as well as a section dedicated entirely to depictions of women at leisure. “This was a popular theme for many Canadian artists who applied Impressionist strategies to reveal the timelessness and universality of the female subject, while also exploring the qualities of light and atmosphere in their immediate surroundings,” said Atanassova. “Whether pictured in domestic interiors, as in Helen McNicoll’s The Chintz Sofa, or passing time in outdoor settings, as in H. Mabel May’s Knitting, their representations offered a diverse interpretation of a life experienced in harmony with nature.”

Covering nearly five decades, Canada and Impressionism: New Horizons features approximately 120 paintings by some 35 Canadian artists, drawn from both public and renowned private collections in Canada and abroad.

“We are deeply indebted to the numerous collectors and institutions who have agreed to part with some of their most beloved works,” said Anne Eschapasse, Interim Co-Director & CEO and Deputy Director of Exhibitions and Outreach. “This project is truly a remarkable collective effort to introduce Canadian art to new audiences in Europe and is the first exhibition of this caliber on Canadian art ever presented in Germany, Switzerland or France.”

Canada and Impressionism: New Horizons (Le Canada et l’impressionnisme. Nouveaux horizons / In einem neuen Licht: Kanada und der Impressionismus), will be presented in three European venues: Kunsthalle München in Munich, Germany (July 19–November 17, 2019); Fondation de l’Hermitage in Lausanne, Switzerland (from January 31–May 24, 2020); and Musée Fabre in Montpellier, France (from June 13–September 27, 2020). Beginning in fall 2020, the exhibition will be shown at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, enhanced by the addition of archival and photographic materials, works on paper and sculptures.

The exhibition is presented with the exceptional generosity of lead supporter The A.K. Prakash Foundation. The international tour to Germany, Switzerland, and France was made possible by the National Gallery of Canada Foundation through its donors, including the Lassonde Family Foundation, the Donald Sobey Family Foundation, and the Distinguished Patrons of the National Gallery of Canada. The Foundation also acknowledges Heffel Fine Art Auction House, Masters Gallery, Kanta Marwah, and Michael and Renae Tims.

For media enquiries, please contact:

North America: Josée-Britanie Mallet, National Gallery of Canada, +1 613 990 6835, bmallet [​at​] gallery.ca; Geneviève Ménard, National Gallery of Canada, T +1 613 990 1654, gmenard [​at​] gallery.caEurope: Rebecca Chuang, Pickles PR, T +33 7 83 73 39 37, rebecca [​at​] picklespr.com

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