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Through the Looking Glass: Reflecting a Renewed Contemporary Commitment

Glenbow Museum, Calgary Sep 26 to Nov 16 2008
Will Mentor  <I>Liquigest</I>  2007  Courtesy of Trépanier Baer Will Mentor Liquigest 2007 Courtesy of Trépanier Baer

Will Mentor <I>Liquigest</I> 2007 Courtesy of Trépanier Baer

On the heels of its successful “Big Gift” exhibition, the Glenbow Museum follows up with the thematic project “Through the Looking Glass” curated by the Glenbow’s president and CEO Jeff Spalding.

Spalding’s show is a thoughtful examination of the perceptual inversion strategies of contemporary new media, photography and painting. Inspired by the topsy-turvy world of Lewis Carroll, he has put together works that bend expectations and test perceptions—from the lightbox paintings of Victoria’s Robert Youds, to the animal-inhabited interiors of German artist Corinna Schnitt, to the fantasist photo tableaux of Montreal’s Holly King.

It is a show with an impressive A-list of artists from both Canada and abroad. Standout names among the two dozen artists include Bill Viola, William Kentridge, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Dennis Oppenheim, Mark Lewis, David Altmejd and Chris Cran. For the Glenbow, the exhibition is also a chance to remount The Paradise Institute, the award-winning Venice Biennale project by Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, who called southern Alberta home for more than a decade. The illusionist space of their replica theatre literally sets the stage for an engrossing and topical show that puts the Glenbow back on the map as a major exhibition venue for contemporary art. (130 9 Ave SE, Calgary AB)

This article was first published online on October 23, 2008.

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