Michael Snow
Clothed Woman (In Memory of my Father) 1963
oil and lucite on canvas
152 x 386.2 cm
Purchased 1966
National Gallery of Canada

See Emily like never before!

Ottawa - March 6, 2006

This summer, the National Gallery of Canada pays a unique homage to Emily Carr, modern painter, writer, environmentalist, feminist icon of Canadian art, defiant Victorian, solitary eccentric, and documenter of Northwest Coast monumental art. On display in Ottawa from 2 June to 4 September, Emily Carr: New Perspectives, presented by Sun Life Financial, looks at this much-loved artist through the historical lens of 20th century exhibitions that presented her work, and in the social and political contexts that defined her world. The exhibition is co-organized with the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Best known for her paintings of First Nations villages and landscapes of the northwest Pacific coast, Emily Carr (1871-1945) is the subject of numerous biographies, scholarly articles, documentary films, plays, a musical, an opera, and poetry. "Born the same year British-Columbia joined Confederation, she has contributed in her very own way in the making of our country's identity," says Pierre Théberge, Director of the National Gallery of Canada.

Featured in this compelling new portrait of the artist are some 200 objects - paintings, drawings, watercolours, caricatures, ceramics, sculpture, hooked rugs, books, maps, photographs, and ephemera - including about 150 works of art by Carr - on loan from the National Gallery, the Vancouver Art Gallery, and major institutions across the country.

The exhibition Emily Carr: New Perspectives is the result of the collaborative work of Johanne Lamoureux of the Université de Montréal, Charlie Hill, Curator of Canadian Art at the National Gallery and Ian Thom, Senior Curator of Historical Art at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

"Presenting Emily Carr in summer 2006 is a magnificent way for Sun Life Financial to celebrate our art, our country, our heritage and our natural environment," says Francine Cléroux, Assistant Vice-President of Sun Life Financial, the presenting sponsor of the exhibition at the National Gallery.

The exhibition begins with a partial reconstruction of the National Gallery's 1927 landmark show entitled Exhibition of Canadian West Coast Art Native and Modern. "Presented and installed in a manner approximating the way it appeared in 1927, visitors will have a rare opportunity to see how Emily Carr first emerged on the national scene," adds Pierre Théberge.  

A second portion of the show, inspired in part by the 1945 Emily Carr Memorial Exhibition, reveals Carr as a modernist artist, whose adept use of intense colours and increasingly expressive brushwork resulted in dynamic interpretations of her constantly evolving vision. Featured are her finest works dating from 1910 to 1942, covering the full breadth of her career.

Emily Carr: New Perspectives' final section explores how Carr consciously created her public persona through her caricatures, self-portraits, and writings, and allows the visitor to see Carr's work in the context of her times.

A fully illustrated catalogue, a bilingual Bell audioguide, a series of lectures, a scholarly symposium, and family activities complement this exhibition. Tickets for the exhibition and the symposium will be on sale starting April 5, 2006.

After its presentation in Ottawa from 2 June to 4 September, Emily Carr: New Perspectives will travel to the Vancouver Art Gallery (7 October 2006 - 7 January 2007), the Art Gallery of Ontario (24 February - 20 May 2007), the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (21 June - 23 September 2007) and the Glenbow Museum (25 October 2007 - 26 January 2008). 

In addition to recognizing the invaluable support of Sun Life Financial, the National Gallery of Canada wishes to thank its media sponsors: CBC TV, la Télévision de Radio-Canada, The Ottawa Citizen and Le Droit.

The exhibition is supported by the Department of Canadian Heritage through the Canada Travelling Exhibitions Indemnification Program.

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Alain Boisvert
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