LSM Newswire

Thursday, June 16, 2011

First-Ever U.S. Survey of Canadian Contemporary Art opens May 2012 at MASS MoCA

Years in the making, Oh Canada will feature work by more than 60 artists from all over the country (North Adams, Mass.) – Canada is the second largest country in the world by area and boasts both a vibrant nationwide arts community and a strong public commitment to culture. And yet Canadian contemporary art has not received widespread attention outside Canada’s borders. Opening May 27, 2012. MASS MoCA will mount the largest survey of contemporary Canadian art ever produced outside Canada. The exhibition, titled Oh, Canada, features work by more than 60 artists who hail from every province and nearly every territory in the country, spanning multiple generations and working in all media. MASS MoCA’s curator Denise Markonish spent the last three years crisscrossing Canada to view hundreds of exhibitions in museums and galleries, visiting over 400 artists’ studios, and making connections with a full range of artists working in Canada today.

Markonish’s extensive research brings this project the fresh perspective of an informed and curious outsider. While Oh, Canada will ask questions such as “What are some of the distinguishing characteristics of art made in the country?” its aim is not to present a merely nationalistic show. Rather, the goal is to encourage a dialogue about contemporary art made in Canada (one touching on issues of craft/making, conceptualism, humor and identity), a dialogue that will resonate just as deeply for Canadians as for outsiders.


The exhibition will be mounted in the 14,000 sf comprising MASS MoCA’s first floor galleries, as well as additional indoor and outdoor spaces. From an initial list of over 800 prospects Markonish narrowed down her list, focusing for the most part on artists who have shown less frequently n the U.S. The artists participating in Oh, Canada include:

Kim Adams, Gisele Amantea, Shuvinai Ashoona, Amalie Atkins, Nicholas Baier, Daniel
Barrow, Dean Baldwin, Rebecca Belmore, Patrick Bernatchez, BGL, Valérie Blass, Shary
Boyle, Bill Burns, Eric Cameron, Cedar Tavern Singers AKA Les Phonorealistes, Janice
Wright Cheney, Douglas Coupland, Ruth Cuthand, Dave and Jenn, Michel De Broin, Wally
Dion, Mario Doucette, Marcel Dzama, Brendan Fernandes, Michael Fernandes, Eryn Foster,
Noam Gonick and Luis Jacob, Hadley + Maxwell, David Harper, David Hoffos, Kristan
Horton, Terrence Houle, Alison Hrabluik, Sarah Anne Johnson, Garry Neill Kennedy, Wanda
Koop, Diane Landry, Micah Lexier, Craig Leonard, Myfanwy MacLeod, Kelly Mark, Luanne
Martineau, Rita McKeough, Divya Mehra, Chris Millar, Kent Monkman, Kim Morgan, Andrea
Mortson, Clint Neufeld, Graeme Patterson, Ed Pein, Annie Pootoogook, Ned Pratt, Michael
Snow, Charles Stankievech, Ron Terada, Joseph Tsiga, Hans Wendt, Janet Werner, Mitchel
Wiebe, John Will, and Étienne Zack

A comprehensive catalogue documenting the exhibition and research will be published including contributions by fiction writers Lisa Moore, Warren Cairou, Douglas Coupland and others; curators John Murchie, Wayne Baerwald, Candice Hopkins, David Liss, Lesley Johnston, Steven Holmes, Louise Déry, Sarah Filmore, Pan Wendt, Bruce Johnson, Cliff Eyland, Jen Budny, Nancy Campbell and more.

The exhibition will also be accompanied by live events at MASS MoCA focusing on Canadian acts.

After closing at MASS MoCA in March 2013, the exhibition will tour to selected cultural venues in the U.S. and Canada.

MASS MoCA (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art) is one of the largest centers for
contemporary visual and performing arts in the country and is located in North Adams,
Massachusetts, on a restored 19th-century factory campus. MASS MoCA’s galleries are open 11am–5pm every day except Tuesdays. Gallery admission is $15 for adults, $10 for students, $5 for children 6 – 16, and free for children 5 and under. Members admitted free year-round. For additional information, call 413-662-2111 or visit www.massmoca.org. MASS MoCA is an independent 501C3 whose operations and programming are funded through admissions and commercial lease revenue, corporate and foundation grants, and individual philanthropy.

Except for an initial construction grant from the Commonwealth, and competitive program and operations grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Cultural Council, MASS MoCA is privately funded: 90% of annual operating revenues are from earned revenues, membership support, and private gifts and grants.

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