Saturday, March 2, 2013

Art Treasures of New Brunswick- Beaverbrook Art Gallery

"Art Treasures of New Brunswick" , Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Feb.21- May 26, 2013

A week ago an exhibit opened at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, "Art Treasures of New Brunswick", curated by Virgil Hammock, critic, and retired head of Fine Arts at Mount Allison University. I missed the opening and lecture because of other commitments but I saw the show today. It was a thrill to find my work placed  next to a painting of a professor and mentor, Edward Pulford, and Saint John painter Jack Humphrey. One thing about museum displays is the amount of room granted to each work. I think another thing is the amount of historical reference, which not only removes the art from the uncertainties of the commercial and/or contemporary world, but provides one with a sense of rest. There is the evidence- that's all there is. I had had some misgivings, having not seen the work since it had been completed, but my fears were put to rest. The painting itself had been difficult, the fact that Alden had died in 1983, and that as he had lived in a time before the ubiquity of digital photography there were virtually no photographic references- some low resolution stills I had taken from a film board documentary, a couple of newspaper photographs, and conversations with his wife, and friends. Plus the memory of the one time I had met him. Still, there is presence, and the most gratifying moment for me was the fact that at the unveiling, his wife, Claudine, was moved.

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