Carleton University Art Gallery CUAG

An Embarrassment of Riches: The Collection in Focus

Curated by Sandra Dyck and Diana Nemiroff

07 May – 30 September 2012

Since its founding in 1992, Carleton University Art Gallery (CUAG) has built and cared for the University’s art collection as a rich resource for discovery, research, and learning through the direct experience of original works of art. CUAG presented its first exhibition in September of 1992; An Embarrassment of Riches marks our approaching 20th anniversary with a major exhibition that occupies the entire gallery and focuses on art acquired by donation and purchase since 2006. 

The exhibition includes an impressive core of contemporary photography by such artists as Robert Bourdeau, Justin Wonnacott, Jocelyne Alloucherie, Charles Gagnon, Lorraine Gilbert, Geoffrey James, and Michael Schreier. Videos presented include Kent Monkman’s cheeky Dance to Miss Chief and Zacharias Kunuk’s epic Nunavut series. The printmakers featured span centuries and continents – from Lucas van Leyden and Hans Sebald Beham to Clarence Gagnon and John J.A. Murphy to Pitseolak Ashoona and Ibrahim Miranda Ramos.

Delicate drawings by Ivan Eyre, Jane Martin, Kananginak Pootoogook, and Ron Bloore act as a quiet counterpoint to the Pop-inspired work of Michèle Provost, Mark Marsters, and Cynthia Girard, and a group of vividly-coloured 18th-century Indian Ragamala miniatures. The diverse sculptures featured include Liz Magor’s handy Tool Kit, several Haida argillite carvings of the 19th century, and Gunter Nolte’s minimalist steel piece, Step Up and Over.

An Embarrassment of Riches celebrates CUAG’s collection and the many stories it tells.  While we recognize that in the twenty-first century these stories will reach audiences through diverse routes, many of them virtual, we are confident that the art object has not lost its power and continues to stir our curiosity about the worlds it lays before our eyes.

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