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New OAG Exhibition Highlights Landscapes and Abstraction from the FCCA

January 31, 2024

Henri Masson, Evening, Bic, Quebec, 1974, oil on canvas. Firestone Collection of Canadian Art, Ottawa Art Gallery. Donated to the City of Ottawa by the Ontario Heritage Foundation.

Visions and Views speaks to the foresight of an Ottawa family and the collection they envisioned and donated.

The Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) is getting ready to inaugurate Visions and Views: Landscape and Abstraction in the Firestone Collection of Canadian Art which highlights landscapes and abstractions from the Firestone Collection of Canadian Art (FCCA). The group exhibition opens to the public February 11th, 2024 with a day of festivities and activities.

The FCCA is a significant art collection that spans the modern period and includes work from a wide range of Canadian art styles, regions, and periods. The two largest themes in this collection are landscape and abstraction. In Visions and Views, depictions of landscape views from across the county are displayed alongside abstract visions by Canadian artists. Looking at the Collection through this lens, the exhibition explores the history of Canadian art as represented through the collecting practices of the Firestone family.

“From vibrant scenes that reflect the ever-changing landscape to swirling abstractions that capture the imagination and everything in between, diving into the FCCA is always so much fun. It’s a pleasure to get to draw out and highlight a wide variety of works within the frame of landscape and abstraction this year, and to showcase the ways these genres are represented within the collection.” – Meghan Ho,Visions and Views Curator

The Firestone Family were Ottawa-based art collectors who began collecting in the early 1950s, amassing more than 1,600 works from across the country, with Group of Seven painting and sketches representing 40 per cent of their holdings. In 1972, the family generously donated their collection to the Ontario Heritage Foundation to ensure its accessibility to the public. In 1992, the Foundation transferred ownership of the collection to the City of Ottawa, and the Ottawa Art Gallery became responsible for its conservation and public display. The OAG cares for and presents the Collection with rotating free-to-visit exhibitions featuring specific artists, unknown stories, art historical themes and art movements ensuring the collection remains a source of inspiration for Ottawa residents and visitors to the region, while also serving as a valuable resource for researchers, scholars, and students.

“The amazing gift of Canadian art from the Firestone family continues to inspire us to find innovative ways to connect art and people, as they used to do in their Ottawa home. Our exhibitions celebrate the vision of the Firestones, the role they played in supporting the art scene and their contribution to the growth and recognition of Canadian art. The OAG has built a home for everyone to enjoy this world-class collection, that uniquely shows the breadth of Canada’s art history and we invite everyone to come celebrate, discover, and engage with this national treasure and its amazing artists.” – Alexandra Badzak, Director and CEO, Ottawa Art Gallery

The public is invited to a free art-filled day on Sunday February 11th to celebrate the exhibition opening. The festivities begin at 10 am with the Winterlude edition of Creative Sundays celebrating the Year of The Dragon. Starting at 12:30 pm, exhibition Curator Meghan Ho will discuss Takao Tanabe’s work On Greener Hillsides in Visions and Views (Level 2).  At 1 pm, everyone is invited for tea and Looking Beneath the Layers, a panel on the photographic analysis of Firestone Collection of Canadian artwork Mount Thule, Bylot Island, by Lawren S. Harris, with Alexandra Badzak, OAG Director and CEO, Rebecca Basciano, OAG Chief Curator and Germain Wiseman, Scientific Documentation Technologist at the Canadian Conservation Institute.

Artists:
Peter Aspell, Maxwell Bates, Tib Beament, Léon Bellefleur, Suzanne Bergeron, André Biéler, Paul-Émile Borduas, Franklin Carmichael, Emily Carr, A.J. Casson, Ulysse Comtois, Maurice Cullen, Albert Dumouchel, Marcelle Ferron, L.L. Fitzgerald, Clarence Gagnon, Tondino Gentile, Lawren S. Harris, Peter Haworth, Edwin Holgate, A.Y. Jackson, Don Jarvis, Franz Johnston, Rita Letendre, Arthur Lismer, J.E.H. MacDonald, Henri Masson, Doris McCarthy, Yvonne McKague Housser, Art McKay, David Milne, Louis Muhlstock, Kazuo Nakamura, Clark, Paraskeva, David Partridge, George Pepper, Claude Picher, Harris, Robert, Anne Savage, Carl Schaefer, Marian Scott, Jack Shadbolt, Takao Tanabe, Harold Town, F.H. Varley, York Wilson

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