Friday, August 9, 2013

At the National Gallery of Canada

John and I approached the National Gallery of Art in Ottawa along Guigues Street passing the silver-spired Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica.
The cathedral was open for a wedding so John and I slipped in for a peek.
The interior which was completed in 1865 is wildly ornate in Neo-Gothic style.
We liked the dense stained glass windows created between 1956-1961 by Montreal artist, Guido Nicheri.
Stepping outside the church we were confronted by Louise Bourgeois' huge sculpture, Maman and the "iceberg" covering the renovations to Great Hall of the National Gallery created by Greenlandic artist, Inuk Silis Høegh. Apparently the iceberg will melt as the renovations are completed. We LOVE both Maman and the iceberg.
 We started with a tour of the permanent collections since it is years since we visited the museum.
As usual John found the elevators perfect for a self-portrait (I'm adjusting my shirt not showing off my muscles).
We particularly enjoyed the 20th century galleries of the permanent galleries. In the distance, that's Barnett Newman's infamous The Voice of Fire which shocked people when it was shown in the United States Pavilion at the 1967 World's Fair in Montreal.
The internal atrium
with the odd garden below is fun too.
After a few hours of exploring we headed down to the cafeteria for something to eat.
I had a BLT and a coke
while John opted for a club sandie and a beer. Thank God for museum cafeterias.
Back in the contemporary galleries we liked David Bolduc's Gasni and Charles Gagnon's Splitscreenspace/Summer/D'été
and David Altmejd's intricate sculpture, The Swarm.
The big special exhibition is Sakahàn (to light a fire): International Indigenous Art involving work by 150 artists. Photography wasn't allowed but I did manage to catch these public space pieces. Jimmie Durham's Calm Again incorporating a small plane crushed by a boulder
and Marie Watt's totem of 300 blankets called Blanket Stories; Three Sisters, Cousin Rose, Four Pelts and Sky Woman. If you're in Ottawa this summer, don't miss this show.


  1. Wow I really like the final photo of the totem pole. Is it a stack of textiles?
    thanks! Lisa R-R

  2. Hi to you both,

    I dream of Canada often; in that I want to visit the English speaking part of it and to visit St. Catherine street and St. Joseph's church for walking the steps which I don't think I can muster with my degenerative knees. I miss this land that never knew of me.

    With all the restrictions today, I can't ever get there.

    Thank you for sharing such lovelies. At times your blog feels like punning at another's expense and at other times it is simply informative or perhaps always and I whose perspective is raw.

    Stay blessed!

  3. Thanks for your comments, Lisa and seule771. Lisa, the sculpture is made up of 300 blankets donated by the public, each with a tag identifying the donator and the blanket's story.
    Seule, you will find both St Catherine St and St Joseph's in Montreal in Quebec province. It's a bilingual city so you won't necessarily need much French. A lovely city.

  4. I loved touring the gallery & the market with you both via these amazing photos. Brings back lots of memories of my many many trips to Ottawa.

  5. Excellent, Shelley. We really enjoyed our Saturday tourism!