OAG's Silver Anniversary Exhibition

January 25 - April 7 2013
James Borcoman, James Boyd, Ghitta Caiserman, David Cation, Lynne Cohen, Sylvain Cousineau, Philip Craig, Marlene Creates, Chantal Dahan, Duncan de Kergommeaux, Max Dean, Jennifer Dickson, Henri Durand, David Evans, Evergon, Rosalie Favell, nichola feldman-kiss, Tony Fouhse, Charles Gagnon, Pierre Gaudrard, Juan Geuer, Chantal Gervais, Juan Geuer, Tom Gibson, Lorraine Gilbert, Vera Greenwood, Jerry Grey, Meghan Haughian, Geoffrey James, Louis Joncas, Katherine Knight, George Legrady, Suzanne Rivard Le Moyne, Randal Levenson, Jane Martin, Marie-Jeanne Musiol, Ron Noganosh, Leslie Reid, Catherine Richards, Cyril Ryan, Michael Schreier, Orest Semchishen, Frank Shebageget, Michael Sproule, Ineke Standish, Cindy Stelmackovich, Jason St-Laurent, Gabor Szilasi, Takao Tanabe, Jeff Thomas, Gerald Trottier and Eric Walker

Heart of the Moment: Selections from the Permanent Collection
Opening reception: Jan. 24, 2013 at 5 p.m.

For twenty-five years, the Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) has exhibited and acquired visual art to tell the story of a spirited city that is open to the world and bustling with creativity. To mark the Gallery's Silver Anniversary, Heart of the Moment brings together highlights from OAG’s growing permanent collection and reaffirms our long-standing commitment to acquiring art from many stages of artists’ careers. There is an argument for innocence that prevails within each artwork in the exhibition, shaped by love and a natural need to create. Despite the variation in styles and concepts, certain themes surface organically as the exhibition itself is witness to a greater consciousness within artistic practices. 

From the natural landscape to the manicured garden, our surrounding environment undergoes continuous exploration. Paintings by Leslie Reid, Duncan de Kergommeaux and Philip Craig seduce us with dreamscapes overtaken by hazy tree lines, as do Jennifer Dickson’s photographs of garden statues and neatly trimmed hedges. Similarly, we are lured by mountain ranges, architectural structures, austere interiors and national parks in photographs by Evergon, Lynne Cohen, Geoffrey James, David Evans, Katherine Knight and others, as the artists capture locations from Helsinki to Tuscany. These works document personal memories while offering proof of “being there.”

Through turning to portraiture, many works in the collection point to the notion of psychoanalysis and the iconicity of the figure. This is evident in photographic portraits by artists such as Rosalie Favell and Tony Fouhse, as well as self-portraits by Ron Noganosh and James Boyd in which the human psyche is at the epicentre. Frank Shebageget’s autobiographical installation Beavers (2003), evokes self-awareness through the personal narrative captured in hundreds of beaver-planes, and upon entering Catherine Richard’s Curiosity Cabinet, at the End of the Millennium (1995) we become the body, the person, the “I” in a state of reflection.

In the spirit of the artistic genre memento mori, works in the collection serve as reminders of our mortality. Photographs by Louis Joncas and Vera Greenwood offer the undeniable allure of still life. Cindy Stelmackowich’s handbook of SURGERY (2001) inserts meaning into objects, while works by Chantal Gervais and Jane Martin allude to the fragility and preciousness of life. In Max Dean’s interactive piece So, This Is It (2001) our individual faces are superimposed onto the clock’s surface. The hand sweeps across the plane gradually erasing our reflection, bringing with it the notion of fleeting memories, and our finality.

Heart of the Moment honours the unleashing of the imagination. It instigates day-dreaming while provoking a critical dialogue within the changing contemporary art landscape.