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

The Sixties: Photography in Question

Ottawa, Canada - January 24, 2005

The 1960s were a decade of experimentation that blurred the boundaries between art forms, and the field of photography was no exception. Canadian photographers were at the forefront of the artistic revolution that transformed this documentary tool into an art form in its own right. The Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography celebrates this radical era with the exhibition The Sixties: Photography in Question, on display until 24 April 2005.

The exhibition showcases 89 works chosen from the rich collections of the CMCP and the National Gallery of Canada. The photographs, selected to illustrate the richness and diversity of the period, are by 38 photographers from across Canada, including Michael Snow, Robert Bourdeau, Sam Tata, Tom Gibson, Jennifer Dickson, Gabor Szilasi, Roy Kiyooka, AA Bronson and Bill Vazan.

“We can trace two currents in photography during the ’60s,” says Pierre Dessureault, Associate Curator of the CMCP, and curator of the exhibition. “On the one hand, a growing number of photographers at odds with tradition began moving towards personal expression; on the other, practitioners with a background in the visual arts started using the language of photography to redefine the work of art.”

The Sixties: Photography in Question examines both trends, but not in terms of distinctions that force the viewer to ask, “Is this photography or is it art?” Rather, it explores photography as a dialogue among different disciplines, using the medium’s own unique vocabulary.

The Sixties: Photography in Question is organized by the CMCP, an affiliate of the National Gallery of Canada, where two other exhibitions pay tribute to the Sixties this year. The Sixties in Canada, presented at the National Gallery from February 4 to April 24, will capture the vibrant spirit of the decade with more than 80 works representing a broad spectrum of movements and media, including neo-dada, pop art, minimalism, conceptual and kinetic art, large-format paintings, and experimental films. The Sixties at the National Gallery of Canada, on view until April 29 at the National Gallery Library and Archives, is a selection of exhibition catalogues, invitations, press releases, newspaper clippings, and photographs that document significant people and events at the National Gallery during the 1960s.

Polyptych Two
Normand Grégoire’s photographic work Polyptych Two (1969), a 24-minute-long slide presentation with a soundtrack by Robert Blondin, will be screened at the CMCP Wednesdays through Sundays at 3:30 p.m., plus Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. and weekends at 1:30 p.m.

Cool offer!
The CMCP, the National Gallery and the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, which is presenting Cool ’60s Design from 25 February to 27 November, are offering a special discount: Buy an adult ticket for one show at the regular price, and get a $2 discount on your admission to one of the other two shows. This offer applies only to the Sixties exhibitions. Some restrictions may apply.

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The Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography (CMCP) showcases the work of Canada’s most dynamic photographers. The CMCP shares its diverse collection of more than 161,000 works across Canada and around the world through travelling exhibitions, education programs, a Web site, award-winning publications and exhibitions at its gallery in downtown Ottawa.

The Museum is located at 1 Rideau Canal, between the Château Laurier Hotel and the locks of the Rideau Canal. The CMCP is an affiliate of the National Gallery of Canada.