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Genius Loci

Contemporary Artists respond to the Canadian Landscape
Art Gallery of Mississauga, 2012

Genius Loci – a spirit of place that informs and identifies the history or destiny of a region.
How do contemporary art practices begin to translate the iconic Canadian sense of place?
Cultural Geographer, Denis Cosgrove muses that landscape is an ideological concept:

“It represents a way in which certain classes of people have signified themselves and their worlds through their imagined relationship to nature, and through which they have underlined and communicated their own social role and that of others with respect to nature”

Framework: The Group of Seven lauded and applauded as the centre point of the canon of Canadian art has largely leaned upon the notion of landscape and seeing the terrain of the north anew. To be “Canadian” implies a particular relationship to the land and this too has been characterized by “otherness” with the use of classical stereotypes which cause for a type of estrangement. How does identity and notions of landscape begin to craft a palimpsest of ideas, notions and concepts which look to the future and response of landscape – both interior and external.

The use of public art collections will augment an historical allegiance to connect contemporary art production alongside with iconic Canadian masters. Explorations and comparisons and challenges of contemporary aesthetics with Sculpture, Painting and New Genre will be presented alongside the canon of Canadian art: Jean Paul Lemieux, Tom Thomson, Emily Carr, Annie Pootoogook, and selected works from the AGM’s Permanent Art Collection will also be presented. Contemporary artists own response to landscape and “Canadian” notions of landscape, being and identity are presented. The works will be paired, placed and commented upon with fresh curatorial juxtapositions.

Aman Sandhu
Don Maynard
Gu Xiong
Immony Men
James Fowler
Jessica Thompson
Jon Sasaki
Kara Hamilton
Micah Lexier
Susan Collacott
Swapnaa Tamhane
Yael Brotman