Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Out today: Q&A on Expanding Horizons

I'm still out on the east coast of the east coast today, and I must say that I'm really enjoying some spectacular land-and-sea views--almost, as they like to say, pretty as a picture. Out today in the National Post is a different type of take on beautiful views: my Q&A with Hilliard Goldfarb, curator of "Expanding Horizons", the first-ever survey of both US and Canadian landscape painting. The show has been on this summer at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and continues there to September 27. Then, on October 17, the show opens at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Here's an excerpt from our chat:

Q In most of these paintings, Canadian or American, nature is pretty idealized -- there's little seen of blackflies or bear encounters. How do you resolve that?

A I did include some storm images. And I also tried to emphasize that the rigors these painters had to go through were at times horrific -- as well as, in some ways, humorous. In one letter home, John Singer Sargent complained bitterly about porcupines eating his boots, flies, the constant misery of the rain, canned food fried in a pan and waterfalls "pounding and thundering all night." So that experience is documented, even if it's not in his paintings.

Image of John Singer Sargent's Yoho Falls from the MMFA

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