Marcel Dzama – Aux mille tours (Of Many Turns)
February 4 - April 25, 2010
Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal
185, Sainte-Catherine Ouest
The winter season at the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal kicks off with the launch of exhibitions devoted to Canadian artists Marcel Dzama, Luanne Martineau and the Montréal-based Etienne Zack, scheduled to run from February 4 to April 25, 2010.
Of Many Turns
While Vancouver and Toronto may have boasted the most vibrant art scenes in Canada in the 1980s and , Winnipeg took over in the 2000s, spurred on by artist Marcel Dzama. He quickly carved out an international reputation for his unclassifiable, disconcerting art that reveals a fanciful, anachronistic world. Marcel Dzama – Aux mille tours (Of Many Turns), which offers a critical survey of his haunting yet outrageous work, is the largest solo exhibition of Dzama's art by a public gallery.
The exhibition contains some sixty pieces produced over the last three years, including several new works specially created for this event. It comprises a sketchbook, drawings, collages, dioramas, paintings and films, and examines the artist's favourite themes: nostalgia, early modernism and the relationship between irony and cynicism, politics and subjectivity.
The title Aux mille tours (Of Many Turns) is taken from the prologue to the Odyssey, where Homer introduces Ulysses as "Polytropos," a man of many twists and turns. Like Ulysses, Dzama's art is elusive, prolific and multifaceted. His works draw on a rich repertoire of artistic and literary references, from prewar children's book illustration and to and Dante. He also often refers to childhood experiences in his hometown, Winnipeg: landscape, wildlife, the family farm.
Dzama's strange works elicit a feeling of ambivalence as, nightmare-like, they present recognizable elements in disturbing, violent or even erotic surroundings. His world has something surrealistic about it, like the famous Goya etching The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters.
Curated by Mark Lanctôt.
Saskatoon-born artist Luanne Martineau has made a name for herself with her virtually indescribable hybrid felt and wool sculptures. Human, animal and organic, all at once, they produce an experience that wavers between fascination and repulsion, the microscopic and the macroscopic. The Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal presents the exhibition Luanne Martineau from February 4 to April 25, 2010.
Form Fantasy, 2009, for example, made of industrial felt, needle-felted wool and thread, looks like a soft industrial chair set on a museum base, with a grotesque figure sitting on top of it. The body recalls one of 's zips, and the head, a Duchamp-style wheel, with a hole in the middle like a Cyclops' eye.
Martineau has been challenging the underpinnings of American avant-garde art since the 1950s, in works that abound in references to Abstract Expressionism, Postminimalism, feminism and popular culture. As she breaks down the boundaries between figurative and abstract, art and craft, Martineau skilfully creates a tension between her unsettling subjects and her use of soft, pastel-coloured craft materials. The results are definitely disconcerting. Get ready for works that tackle issues dealing with the aesthetic, the social and the psychological, and do it with a light, humorous touch.
The exhibition will give visitors a chance to explore Martineau's astonishing world through a dozen recent works produced between 2004 and 2009: an artist's book, drawings, sculptures and what she calls "drulptures," a unique combination of the latter two art forms.
Curated by Lesley Johnstone.
In Etienne Zack's innovative and vibrant paintings, the viewer's eye is led every which way over the canvas. Like a modern-day maze, each of his works draws us into a multilayered labyrinth.
Etienne Zack was previously featured in The Québec Triennial. Now the Musée has mounted a solo exhibition comprising twenty-two paintings produced over the last six years, including two major new works Formalities and Proceeding to Irrevocability, 2009 created specifically for the show. This is the artist's first solo museum exhibition.
Zack is one of today's artists who are truly pushing the envelope in terms of painting concept. His work focuses on the context in which artworks are produced and exhibited, and the physical and conceptual tools that go into creating them: the studio, art gallery, painter's materials, and historical and theoretical reference works. Architectural objects and motifs merrily accumulate and intersect in rhythmical compositions with multiple vanishing points. The works reveal a process of deconstruction, fragmentation, multiplication and mise en abyme in a rigorously ordered reconstruction.
Curated by François LeTourneux.
Source: Danielle Legentil
Public Relations Coordinator