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  • Writer's pictureJohn Pohl

2020: Salon des refusés

This exhibition, which opened Thursday, July 16, runs to August 22 at McBride Contemporain, 372 Sainte-Catherine St. The exhibition has one small work by each of about 80 artists, and is hung salon style, which is the opposite of the contemporary style of hanging paintings on white walls with plenty of space between works.

This piece, Marguerite Bourgeoys Park Sculpture 4, is 12" x 16", oil on canvas mounted on a wood panel. It was the fourth version of a painting started on site in the Pointe Saint-Charles park with fellow artist Barry MacPherson in 2017. The first two paintings were done in plein air, that is, in the park itself. I did two more in the studio, of which this was the best.

However, don't think that this is an accurate representation of the actual sculpture, an impressive open work in metal. It is a highly abstracted image. The figures are trees.

To quote from the gallery's press release: "What the Salon des refusés came to represent was the always renewing idea that official styles and sanctioned art movements are not necessarily as vital as much that is done under the radar, outside the mainstream. What McBride Contemporain proposes to do with this exhibition, is to offer a context in which a group of committed artists can exhibit one strong piece each, together, and invite the visual arts public to come discover some fresh voices in small, two-dimensional format, shown alongside other artists who already have been well introduced.

"What we intend by this project is to recognize that excellent, complex and uplifting art is being made that doesn’t always get the chance to have a public viewing. We believe in the importance of jumpstarting renewal and bringing new things to light, in order to reestablish the innate equality of all artists' creation."

Benjamin Klein curated this exhibition.

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