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

Garry Neill Kennedy: Works of Four Decades, Exhibition on View from 3 November 2000 to 21 January 2001

Ottawa, Canada - October 30, 2000


 « Garry Neill Kennedy. Quarante ans de création exposition à l'affiche du 3 novembre 2000 au 21 janvier 2001 » 
Garry Neill Kennedy is one of Canada's senior contemporary artists. This luscious and colourful exhibition of 80 works includes paintings, drawings, wall works, artist's books, photographs, and site-specific installations. Garry Neill Kennedy: Work of Four Decades is organized and circulated by the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in partnership with the National Gallery of Canada, and is on view from 3 November 2000 to 21 January 2001. Admission is free.
A media preview of the exhibition will take place on Wednesday 1 November from 10 am to 2 pm. Diana Nemiroff, Curator of Modern Art, National Gallery of Canada and John Murchie, the exhibition curator will give a guided tour of the exhibition. The artist will also be present.

"As president of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design from 1967 to 1990, Garry Neill Kennedy was one of the first arts administrators in the country to translate the radical implications of Minimal and Conceptual art into an educational programme for young artists," said Pierre Théberge, Director, National Gallery of Canada. "Above all his contributions to the art scene in Canada, we are most grateful for Garry Kennedy's commitment to his art practice, a career which has been his essential preoccupation for the past forty years."

Kennedy is primarily a painter, yet his characteristic approach to the problem of painting comes from conceptual art. The artist critiques painting itself, analyses the materials, the process and the mechanics of making art, and raises questions about the idea of creating visual imagery. Kennedy's work puts the art object and the people who validate it - the museums, the galleries, the critics and the collectors - to a test. His work is challenging and complex, much like the work of the artists who influenced him such as Hans Haacke, the German artist whose Condensation Cube (1963-65) and Voici Alcan (1983) are in the National Gallery's permanent collection, and American artist Sol LeWitt, whose large multi-coloured mural,Wall Drawing No. 623, is on permanent display in the National Gallery.

Highlights of the exhibition include the untitled, colourful and decorative 1977 painting from the collection of the Art Gallery of Ontario which demonstrates Kennedy's rigorous, process-oriented method, a work that is a record of its own making. The artist will reproduce murals from the past such as Figure Paintings (1984) a wall work that addresses the geographical positions of Canada, the United States and Mexico as North American neighbours, the dominance of America's culture and military presence, and the market-driven dominance of figurative painting in the 80s; Superstar Shadow (1986), the name of the font the artist uses to paint his own name from floor to ceiling; and The Four Seasons (1998) a work that is determined by the various names paint producers use to describe and market a variety of colours.

A bilingual catalogue produced by the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in partnership with the National Gallery of Canada accompanies the exhibition.

The National Gallery of Canada is open Wednesday to Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm; Thursdays to 8 pm. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

Travelling Exhibition
Garry Neill Kennedy: Work of Four Decades was originally on view at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax. Following the National Gallery of Canada venue, the exhibition will travel to the Nickle Arts Museum in Calgary from 20 February to 20 April 2002.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the National Gallery of Canada presents:

Meet the Artist
Thursday 2 November at 6 pm Garry Neill Kennedy will present a slide lecture in the Lecture Hall, followed by a visit of the exhibition. Free admission.

Workshop Series for Teens
28, 29, and 30 December, 10 am to 4 pm Conceptualize This! After an interactive visit to the work of contemporary artist Garry Neill Kennedy, teens aged 13 to 17 will explore the possibilities for conceptual art through hands-on activities. Bilingual. Materials included. Fee: $60 (Friends of the NGC $50). Registration required: (613) 998-8888

Video presentation
The complex installation process was captured on video. The edited footage, including an interview with the artist, will be on view in gallery space B108a, beginning in mid-November and running continuously until the end of the exhibition.

Louise Soucy
Chief, Marketing and Communications
tel. (613) 990-3142