A collection, without the fla-flas

Une collection, sans les fla-flas

Photo: Daniel Roussel
Michel Leclair, “fun corner Mt-Royal and Colonial”, 1997

There are projects that come sometimes out of nowhere. Without reason, without the excuse of a fiftieth or any anniversary. No new era to report, no new development, no appointment, nothing. And it is so much better.

The exhibition Inked in the history. A selection of prints from the art Collection of the University of Montreal is part of this type of projects. A historical exhibition that celebrated nothing but the existence of this collection. Why is it, now, and especially here, outside the walls of the institution concerned ? Because.

With the works of 18 artists, the expo embraces broad, in particular because it includes different printing techniques, as well as several trends and eras. It takes place in two houses of culture, that of Côte-des-Neiges and Notre-Dame-de-Grace. Without hype, as if it was self-evident that between neighbors, it would be put together.

Une collection, sans les fla-flas

Photo: René Derouin
René Derouin, “by Edvard Munch, and ultrasounds of the Saint-Laurent 1898-1967-1984-2004”, 2004.

This side event will feed no greater ambition than to show the diversity of the discipline. However, in this matter, the (already) distant These artists that print (2010) did very well. The richness of this university’s collection, will be the subject of a demonstration at the Centre d’exposition of the Université de Montréal under the title The idea of the territory. It ended on 10 August. The coincidence would have deserved to be highlighted, but none of the broadcasters have done.

Without reason or true scale, Inked in history yet not of interest. If the distance between the two houses of culture requires that it is difficult to relate one set to the other, it allows, in return, to see them as two small expos autonomous. Each has its strengths and its weaknesses.

In Côte-des-Neiges, the cohesion is difficult to find, in addition to the natures pop and op that emerge from two of the walls. Of the grid color of a work of Serge Tousignant to works-collages Cozic, the row also passes by the blink of an eye policy of Pierre Ayot, or blocks are shifting and superimposed in Louis Comtois.

Among them, the surprise and the best shooting grouped, having regard to the number of screen prints used (7), are to be put to the account of Michel Leclair, an artist has been a bit forgotten. This series of the 1970s, which informs his later work of urban photographer, combines the theme of mercantile (shop-windows, objects of consumption) to the fragmentation of the image.

The intimacy

In Notre-Dame-de-Grace, the disparity is more noticeable at first glance, in particular by the extent in time that it addresses. We pass water-based inks-sharp Marc-Aurèle Fortin (views of the port of Montreal in the 1940s) to those of Peter Krausz, whose disturbing Portrait of the artist at the age of 87 (2006), the most recent work of the whole batch.


Une collection, sans les fla-flas

Photo: Patrick-Olivier Meunier
Roland Giguère, “If you dream…”, 1974

In the second course, the grouping in this house of culture is, however, a little more coherent. The attention to the human body, whether it is social (as in Fort), cultural or physical, brings out the theme of intimacy. The grounds of the house, or a private space, such as the beautiful “corner shop” by Serge Tousignant, have their reason to be. With Roland Giguère, abstraction, and words open to a soft erotica.

The body also becomes landscape, in the manner of Krausz, of which Portrait of T. K. (1999), a huge head, almost a mountain, strikes one immediately. At this time when quoting, appropriating and mix of cultures becomes a slippery ground, recognize René Derouin, engraver which builds bridges to Mexico for 60 years, the honor of doing it in any respect.

Those who will take the trouble to read the cartels of the works will finally have access to another aspect of this exhibition in two locations. The collection of the University of Montreal, as any collection of a public nature, is constructed at random and the customs and the times. The “Fund of the fiftieth Anniversary” or a “capital Campaign” here, a rare purchase here, and many individual donations elsewhere. The exhibition Inked in the history salutes indirectly, all of the Jules Laporte, Charles Theroux, Daniel Fleurant of this world — to name only the most quoted.

Inked in the history. A selection of prints from the Collection of works of art of the University of Montreal.

At the Maison de la culture Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, until 18 August. At the Maison de la culture Côte-des-Neiges, until 16 September.