Wednesday, January 29, 2020

This year at the MNBAQ

For those who have always meant to visit the Musée National des beaux-arts du Québec, this may well be the year to make the trip. Three major exhibitions are planned that will have a broad appeal.

From February 13 - May 18, 2020, the museum will host Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Mexican Modernism. Presented are more than 150 items, with ten paintings by Kahlo, including the well-known Self-Portrait with Necklace, Self-Portrait with Braid, and Diego on my Mind. Also included: twenty works by other Mexican painters and 85 photographs by important Latin American photographers of the period. The show has already traveled widely.

From June 20 - September 27, 2020, Turner and the Sublime will make its exclusive Canadian appearance. Organized by the Tate, it includes 75 paintings and works on paper, covering the biggest portion of Turner's career. Featured will be a Turner painting from the holdings of the MNBAQ, Scene in Derbyshire (1842), bequeathed to the museum by the estate of Maurice Duplessis.

As well, Emily Carr and her Contemporaries will be staged at the MNBAQ from November 5, 2020 - January 17, 2021. Meant to serve as a counterpoint to the one- hundredth anniversary of the founding of the Group of Seven, the show assembles some 250 works by pioneering women painters, photographers, sculptors, architects, and filmmakers, including 50 works by their Aboriginal contemporaries. Names that will be familiar to Montrealers include Paraskeva Clark, Marion Dale Scott, Prudence Heward and Anne Savage. 

Whenever I visit the MNBAQ, I enjoy touring the wing that once housed the city's prison. Four floors of this space are permanently dedicated to four important Quebec artists: Jean Paul Lemieux, Alfred Pellan, Jean-Paul Riopelle, and Fernand Leduc. Also part of the permanent collection is the fascinating sculpture The Flux and the Puddle by David Altmejd, not to be missed.

The museum has a great restaurant too, and on a summer's day you can't beat the view from a table on the terrace.

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