Sunday, August 09, 2009

Just got back from three days away at my inlaws' (incommonlaws?) cottage near Kaladar, Ontario. On the way back, we swung through Ottawa and took in the National Gallery. The main exhibit, From Raphael to Carracci: The Art of Papal Rome featured some finely executed masterworks by the two artists in its title, as well as by Michaelangelo, El Greco, Titian, as well was by superb but lesser known artists. The quality of the work is of course unsurpassed -- a couple of drawings by Michaelangelo were worth the price of admission -- but I found all those papal portraits, altars and biblical tableaus under heavy institutional Roman architecture lugubrious & stifling, and was greatly relieved to wander over into Thomas Nozkowski's light, airy, unpretentious abstractions. Also worth taking in was a small exhibit of prints by Symbolist artists including Munch, Gauguin, Lautrec & others.

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