Art Gallery of Alberta opens Misled by Nature. Contemporary Art and the Baroque

Art Gallery of Alberta opens Misled by Nature. Contemporary Art and the Baroque, an exhibition on view September 15, 2012-January 6, 2013.

The art historian Johann Joachim Winckelmann once criticized the 17th-century Italian artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s exuberant aesthetic for being misguided, accusing him as having been ‘misled by nature’. The critique stands as one of the many that rejected the ornate excesses of the Baroque period (1620-1800), denouncing its art and architecture as a decadent, if not decayed, betrayal of Renaissance achievements and ideals. Today, many scholars consider the historical Baroque of strong relevance as the era that ushered in the modern world.

Misled by Nature: Contemporary Art and the Baroque examines Baroque tendencies in recent contemporary art. With a focus on artists who emphasize material excess, ornamentation and theatricality in their production, this exhibition features a range of works that explore hybridity, natural processes and the viewer’s experience. These powerful and immersive environments appeal to the senses and draw on the viewer’s understanding of the symbolism of everyday life.

Misled by Nature: Contemporary Art and the Baroque features works drawn primarily from the National Gallery of Canada’s permanent collections by internationally renowned artists: David Altmejd; Lee Bul; Bharti Kher; Yinka Shonibare, MBE; Sarah Sze and newly commissioned work by Tricia Middleton created specifically for this AGA exhibition. The exhibition has been organized by the National Gallery of Canada and the Art Gallery of Alberta and curated by Catherine Crowston (Executive Director/Chief Curator, AGA), Josée Drouin-Brisebois (Curator of Contemporary Art, NGC) and Jonathan Shaughnessy (Associate Curator of Contemporary Art, NGC) as part of the “National Gallery of Canada at the Art Gallery of Alberta” program and is presented with the support of Capital Powered Art, an exhibition series sponsored by Capital Power Corporation.

Art Gallery of Alberta
2 Sir Winston Churchill Square, Edmonton AB T5J 2C1
Phone: 780.422.6223

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