For a crash course in European and North American art, make your way to the Winnipeg Art Gallery, where the latest exhibition, “100 Masters: Only in Canada,” features 100 classic works from the 1500s to the present.
Organized chronologically, the exhibit’s eight rooms include paintings and sculptures collected from art museums across Canada, including the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Vancouver Art Gallery and many more.
Half of the works are by Canadian artists, including Group of Seven members Tom Thomson and Lawren Harris (the collective started in the early 20th century to capture the local landscape in its art), British Columbia’s notable landscape painter Emily Carr and aboriginal artist Bill Reid. The other 50 are by European and American masters, from Monet, Matisse, Rembrandt and Renoir to van Gogh, Picasso and Andy Warhol. First Nations artist Norval Morrisseau, BC painter Jack Shadbolt and New Brunswick-born Mary Pratt are among the more contemporary Canadians represented.
While it’s hard to pick a few can’t-miss pieces from this 100-work show, some of the notables include Rembrandt’s mysterious A Woman at her Toilet, Warhol’s controversial Mao, Picasso’s melancholy The Crouching Beggar and van Gogh’s lovely Vase with Zinnias and Geraniums.
Admission to the exhibit includes an informative self-guided audio tour, which CBC Radio host Jeff Douglas narrates. You can also take a guided tour of the exhibition on Sundays at 2 p.m. throughout July, and on both Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. during the first two weekends of August — and it’s much more fun than art history class ever was.
You can catch the “100 Masters” exhibit at the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s distinctive triangular building through August 18.
Photos Courtesy of Winnipeg Art Gallery and Canadian Tourism Commission