A New Year’s Visit to the Art Gallery

January 1, 2015 at 7:34 pm (Uncategorized)

I never go out for New Year’s Eve. It might be that it’s a young person’s celebration, but it always seems to be a bit of fake holiday (c.f. John Oliver’s hilarious New Year’s advice ) But, having done nothing the night before, we decided to go to the Art Gallery to start the New Year on a high note.

There were two exhibits I wanted to see (actually three, but if we’d done the Michelangelo as well, it would have been too much). First was Alex Colville. I was aware of Colville’s work, but the exhibition really deepened by sense of his work. Colville’s themes are mundane. People standing by railway tracks, animals, cyclists, etc. But there’s a fake quality to the representations. The people look like a manikin. The animals don’t quite look real. It’s as if Colville were pointing to an alienation, a separation between life and the life we live. The other thing which was interesting was the use of his work in film. Wes Anderson, Stanley Kubrick and the Coen Brothers have all made use of his themes and often the work itself in their films. One reviewer of his work noted that Colville’s pictures often have a sense that just beyond the picture, something is about to happen. And it’s not going to be good. The Colville exhibit closes on Sunday.

The second exhibit was a retrospective of Art Spiegleman’s work, and it was the collection I really wanted to see. Strangely enough, I enjoyed the Colville section better, but this may have been that Spiegelman’s work didn’t lend itself to the format of the gallery – if it had been in a book and I could have sat in a chair to read it… Still, that aside, there was a generous selection of his early work, the Raw period, Maus and the 9/11 material.  Well worth the trip despite my comments above.


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