Art Gallery of Hamilton presents The Spectacle of Play

The Art Gallery of Hamilton presents The Spectacle of Play an exhibition on view through January 12, 2014.

Simon Willms, Juan Manuel Aquino 2009. From the series Beisbol . Courtesy of the artist.

Simon Willms, Juan Manuel Aquino 2009. From the series Beisbol . Courtesy of the artist.


Play: the word and related concepts yield a dizzying array of meanings, activities and states of mind. In considering this thicket of meanings one might enact a behavior, fulfilling a role in a single event (play) that might be both sporting match and theatrical performance, or indeed part of a constructed persona played out in the real world. Play therefore can mean that we remove ourselves from our conventional contexts, refashion ourselves and our usual roles. But just as one might actively participate in play, the term can also denote a less active time spent in leisure, one more cerebral than physical.

In this special exhibition, the flagship presentation of the 2013 theme World at Play, historic and contemporary artworks present these variations in tandem. An 18 foot salon-style installation of 19th-century paintings redolent of the Parisian Salon—the epitome of period spectacle—will be juxtaposed with a dramatic, oversized black and white film devoted to chess by contemporary Canadian artist Marcel Dzama. Portraits of sports players, and memorable moments in sports history, as well as a contemporary sculpture by Graeme Patterson depicting Daryl Sittler’s famous 10-goal hockey game in 1976 will take us into the heart of the most literal meaning of play: the sports world.

Contemporary artists included in the exhibition are: Barbara Steinman, Rick Pottruff, Joseph Calleja, Alan Flint, Simon Willms, Kristiina Lahde, Aubrey Reeves, Graeme Patterson, Karine Giboulo, and Marcel Dzama.

Curated by Melissa Bennett, Curator of Contemporary Art,
Tobi Bruce, Senior Curator, Canadian Historical Art, and
Dr. Benedict Leca, 18th and 19th-century French art specialist
www.artgalleryofhamilton.com

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