Friday 13 May 2011

media preview at the McMichael - new MARC-AURÈLE FORTIN exhibition

MEDIA PREVIEW MAY 26th 11am - 1pm
May 28 to September 11, 2011

Produced by the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec
First Major Museum Exhibition Devoted to Marc-Aurèle Fortin Showcases Artist’s Journey Transcribing the Quebec Landscape into a National Art

When: Thursday, May 26, 2011, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Where: McMichael Canadian Art Collection, 10365 Islington Avenue, Kleinburg (just north of Major Mackenzie Drive and Islington Avenue intersection).

What: The first major museum exhibition devoted to the landscape artist Marc-Aurèle Fortin (1888-1970) in more than 45 years features 107 of Fortin’s paintings, prints, drawings, and watercolours produced between 1909 and 1949, before health problems forced him to stop working. Fortin is best known for his compositions of stately elms and colourful depictions of the Quebec countryside of his day. The exhibition also includes a lesser-known but equally important aspect of his work: cityscapes. These urban views prove him a keen observer of the irreversible changes that modernity was bringing to Montreal in the 1920s and 30s.

Why: Marc-Aurèle Fortin: The Experience of Colour is a bilingual exhibition that pays tribute to the artist who painted for four decades in the rising tide of Quebec and Canadian modernity. While remaining faithful to figurative art as a painter, watercolourist, printmaker, and pastelist, he endlessly experimented with colour, the true focus of his inquiry. Fortin saw his art as “silent poetry”—his determination to make bright colours sing made him one of the most progressive painters of his generation in the 1920s.

Related: On Saturday, June 4, the McMichael will host a lecture delivered by Dr. François-Marc Gagnon, professor emeritus at the Université de Montréal and director and chair of the Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Institute for Studies in Canadian Art at Concordia University, focusing on Fortin’s innovative treatment of forms. The lecture will take place from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., followed by a book-signing event with Dr. François-Marc Gagnon, who also co-authored the companion catalogue.

About the Gallery
The McMichael Canadian Art Collection is an agency of the Government of Ontario and acknowledges the support of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture. It is the foremost venue in the country showcasing the Group of Seven and their contemporaries. In addition to touring exhibitions, its permanent collection consists of more than 5,700 artworks, including paintings by the Group of Seven and their contemporaries, First Nations and Inuit artists. The gallery is located on Islington Avenue, north of Major Mackenzie Drive in Kleinburg, and is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors/students and $30 for families. There is a $5 fee for parking. For more information about the gallery, visit

Please RSVP:
Stephen Weir,
Gallery: 905.893.1121 ext. 2529
Toronto Office: 416.489.5868
Cell: 416.801.3101