Mystical Landscapes at the Art Gallery of Ontario
Mystical Landscapes: Masterpieces from Monet, Van Gogh and more opens at the Art Gallery of Ontario this week.
The exhibition featuring works from European, Scandinavian and North American artists focuses on transcendent or mystical experiences in landscape painting from the years 1880 and 1930. It was organized by senior curator Katharine Lochnan, with help from Roald Nasgaard and Bogomila Welsh-Ovcharov and in collaboration with Guy Cogeval and Isabelle Morin Loutrel from the Musée d'Orsay in Paris.
The show is remarkable for placing Canadian artists on equal footing with European, Scandinavian and American painters. Tom Thomson’s “The West Wind” and a trio of paintings by Emily Carr more than hold their own beside Edvard Munch’s iconic painting of the sun. Elsewhere an early Mondrian seems to anticipate Carr’s brushwork. An atypical pointillist Marsden Hartley full of rust browns and reds looks like a long-lost Group of Seven painting. The show will be traveling to Paris once it closes in Toronto at the end of January. Like the AGO’s previous blockbuster The Idea of North: The Paintings of Lawren Harris, Mystical Landscapes promises to bring Canadian classics to a world stage.
The interrelated subjects, shared colour pallets and techniques makes it difficult to guess the nationality of work based on painting style alone. Visual rhymes between forests and cathedrals in the work of little known French artist Charles Marie Dulac reappear throughout the exhibition. A wonderful run of blue, green and verdigris nocturnes by Swedish artist Eugene Jansson, James McNeil Whistler and others anticipate the spectacular final room in which Van Gogh’s “Starry Night over the Rhone” joins a suite of lesser known works depicting the cosmos as whorls of light and vast crystalline fortresses. An additional wall of works by Arthur Dove, Georgia O’Keefe and Marsden Hartley all look like long-lost siblings of Lawren Harris’ later abstracts.
The catalogue will be in libraries soon. (Here's a link for those who can't wait.)
Toronto Public Library has a wealth of books--on Van Gogh, Monet, O'Keefe, Whistler, Nordic Art and more that will enhance your visit to this stunning show.
Mystical Landscapes: Masterpieces from Monet, van Gogh and more
Art Gallery of Ontario
October 22, 2016 to January 29, 2017