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Two new AGA exhibitions explore pioneers of both early French photography and the frontier landscape
Henry George Glyde, Back Gardens, Vegreville, Alberta, 1938. Watercolour on graphite paper. Art Gallery of Alberta Collection, gift of H.G. Glyde.

EDMONTON AB.- The Art Gallery of Alberta opened two new exhibitions in continuation of its fall season: 19th Century French Photographs from the National Gallery of Canada and Prairie Life: Settlement & the Last Best West 1930-1955 on view until January 29, 2012.

Drawn from the extensive collection of French photographs from the National Gallery of Canada (NGC) in Ottawa, 19th Century French Photographs features work by some of the major pioneers of French photography including Eugène Atget, Gustave Le Gray and Charles Marville among others. Tracing the early explorations of this medium through subjects such as landscape, portraiture, street life, war, and the human figure, the 66 works in the exhibition include daguerreotypes, salted paper, albumen silver and photogravure prints. Not to be missed, this exhibition demonstrates the exciting advent of a medium so ubiquitous in present day life.

19th Century French Photographs is presented as part of The National Gallery of Canada at the Art Gallery of Alberta, with the support of Capital Powered Art; an exhibition series sponsored by Capital Power Corporation.

In connection with this exhibition, the AGA will be hosting a feature lecture by Michael Fried as part of the Canadian Art Foundation International Speakers Series on Saturday, October 15 at 2 pm. In this public talk, the renowned poet, art historian, art critic and literary critic will speak on the subject of photography and the importance the role the medium now has in contemporary art.

Prairie Life: Settlement & the Last Best West 1930-1955 traces 25 years on the Canadian prairies, from the “Dirty Thirties” to the middle of the 1950s, when the idea of the Prairie West as a promised land was irrevocably altered. The exhibition features artists who are central to the history of modern art in this region, and focuses on images of settlement during a period of dislocation and economic hardship. Drawing from the Art Gallery of Alberta’s permanent collection, the exhibition includes the work of artists Maxwell Bates, HG Glyde, Marion Nicoll and John Snow.

To compliment this exhibition, the AGA will present a screening of Will the Real Alberta Please Stand Up? on Wednesday, November 9 at 7 pm in the AGA’s Ledcor Theatre. The film, which investigates popular stereotypes of our province, will be introduced by the film’s director Geo Takach. A question and answer period and book signing will follow the screening.

These exhibitions are presented as part of the AGA’s fall season, which focuses on different ways of presenting the landscape through various periods of time and media. The season also includes the recently opened UP NORTH, an exhibition featuring the work of four internationally renowned contemporary artists from circumpolar countries. Opening soon are A PASSION FOR NATURE: Landscape Painting from 19th Century France , State of Nature : Works from the Collection of the Art Gallery of Alberta and ARLENE WASYLYNCHUK: Saltus Illuminati. More information about these exhibitions will be released shortly.

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