By Tyler Sutherland
A public exhibit looking at how the nude body has been perceived and represented by Canadian artists throughout the first half of the 20th century will open at the Winnipeg Art Gallery later this month.
The “Nude in Modern Canadian Art, 1920-1950” exhibit will open June 17 and run until August 22.
“The nude holds an ambiguous place in the history of Canadian art,” said Andrew Kear, Associate Curator, Historical Canadian Art. “At times it was a revered subject for creative exploration. At others, it was dismissed as too academic, too derivative of European art. Opinions on the artistic nude have oscillated wildly. This exhibition offers a powerful and complex look at the artistic nude in Canada in relation to European influences, the impact on the health sciences on body image, as the source of popular entertainment, and the role it played in aesthetic experimentation. It brings focus to the nude from its legacy of censorship and dismissal, celebration and exploration.”
The exhibit includes more than 110 sculptures, paintings, prints, and photographs representing over 50 artists including Paul-Émile Borduas, Lilias Torrance Newton, Alex Colville, Bertram Brooker, and L.L. FitzGerald. It is organized and toured by the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec.