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The Phoenix Art: Viewing Painting’s Renewed Power

“The Phoenix Art” 2009 Exhibition view (from left) Works by Nathalie Thibault, Krisjanis Kaktins-Gorsline, Beth Stuart and Martin Golland / photo Guy L’Heureux

One of the main trends of the past few years has been the resurgence of painting in Canada—both in terms of its presence in the public eye and its appeal to young artists. Accordingly, this fall, the well-known critic and curator Robert Enright has assembled “The Phoenix Art,” a timely exhibition that brings together 20 works by key up-and-coming painters from Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg. The works on view at Galerie Simon Blais—all of them new—range from strongly conceptual approaches, like that of Jeremy Hof, to image-based tacks, such as those used by Matthew Brown. The trend towards deconstructed or ambiguous canvases would also seem to be well represented, with works by Melanie Rocan, Martin Golland, Melanie Authier and Krisjanis Kaktins-Gorsline on view. (The exhibition is rounded out by work from Mark Igloliorte, Jean-François Lauda, Beth Stuart and Nathalie Thibeault.) In 2010, Galerie Simon Blais will publish a catalogue of this and other exhibitions presented throughout 2009, its 20th-anniversary year. And in an appropriate gesture, proceeds from the sale of the book will go to the Sylvie and Simon Blais Foundation for Emerging Visual Artists—an organization that benefits not just the renewed forms of today, but those of tomorrow as well. (5420 boul St-Laurent, Montreal QC)

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