An exciting cultural
season at the MMFA

Arbus, Basquiat, Boyle, Dumouchel… and a new season with a special focus on music

October 17, 2022

This fall, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) gives a prominent place to music, with the world premiere of a major exhibition devoted to the importance of music in the life and work of Jean-Michel Basquiat, as well as an ambitious exhibition celebrating Inuit musical expression in all its forms.

The MMFA also hosts one of the most captivating photographic bodies of work of the last century – that of American photographer Diane Arbus – and a multi-sensory installation by Canadian artist Shary Boyle, which invites us to reflect on the influences that shape our individuality within society. In keeping with its mission to showcase Canadian heritage, the MMFA is also honouring the work of Albert Dumouchel, a pioneer of printmaking in Quebec.

The season opened with the presentation of Shary Boyle: Before the Palace of the Self (September 1 2022 – 15 January 2023). Bringing together ceramics, drawings, animated sculptures, and an interactive soundtrack, this installation by Canadian artist Shary Boyle explores the performative dimensions of identity in an era when social networks have become the stage for staging the self.

De gauche à droite, de haut en bas : Shary Boyle (née en 1972), Sainte céphalophore, 2018. E. Grace et S. Vella. Photo Imagefoundry | Diane Arbus (1923-1971), Couple d'adolescents dans Hudson Street, N.Y.C., 1963, épreuve argentique à la gélatine ; imprimée ultérieurement, feuille : 50,8 × 40,6 cm. Musée des beaux-arts de l'Ontario, don de Robin et David Young, 2016. Copyright © Estate of Diane Arbus | Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988), Anybody Speaking Words, 1982. Collection particulière, Suisse. © Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York. Photo Boris Croce | Albert Dumouchel (1916-1971), L'horrible chat des neiges, 1969. MBAM, en cours d'acquisition. Photo MBAM, Annie Fafard

From left to right: Shary Boyle, Holy Cephalophore, 2018 • Jean-Michel Basquiat, Anybody Speaking Words, 1982 • Diane Arbus, Teenage Couple on Hudson Street, N.Y.C., 1963 • Albert Dumouchel, L’horrible chat des neiges, 1969

From September 15, 2022 to January 29, 2023, Diane Arbus: Photographs, 1956-1971 presents some 90 gelatin silver prints by American photographer Diane Arbus. The exhibition presents a chronological overview of the singular vision of this photographer who revolutionized the art of portraiture.

A highlight of the season, the MBAM presents the world premiere of Full Volume: Basquiat and Music (October 15, 2022 – February 19, 2023), an unprecedented exploration of music in the life, work and meteoric career of Jean-Michel Basquiat. This multi-media exhibition immerses visitors in the New York of the 1970s and 1980s, giving them the opportunity to hear as well as see.

To understand Basquiat’s art, it is necessary to understand the close link that has always united him to music, the true background of his work.

Comprised of an exceptional collection of drawings and paintings, rare audiovisual materials, and archival documents, it examines from a variety of angles Basquiat’s relationship as an artist, a music lover, and a musician to the music world and musical inspirations – from jazz to hip-hop – that have shaped his powerful work.

From November 10, 2022 to March 13, 2023, ᑐᓴᕐᓂᑐᑦ TUSARNITUT! Music from the Cold bears witness to the links between Inuit visual arts and music. Interweaving anthropology and indigenous art history, this exhibition offers a broad panorama of contemporary and traditional works – sculptures, prints, drawings, and installations – that reveal the diversity and scope of musical expression in the visual and performing arts of the circumpolar regions.

From left to right: Kenojuak Ashevak, Guardians of Katajjaniq, 1992 • Paul André, The First of May, 1972 • Nicolas Party, Portrait with snakes, 2019

From December 1ᵉʳ to March 26, 2023, Revelations: the Prints of Albert Dumouchel in the MMFA Collection offers the opportunity to discover the graphic production of Albert Dumouchel, considered the father of modern printmaking in Quebec, through 60 remarkable prints. These prints testify to the originality and protean nature of his engraving, whose imagery is striking.

Finally, until July 2, 2023, the exhibition Interior Views: Portraits of Inhabited Space invites us to rediscover the interior, a place with which our relationship has been disrupted by many months of confinement, through the eyes of some twenty artists from Quebec and Canada.

Feature image: Basquiat as a DJ for Eric Goode’s birthday party at the Area nightclub, 1984. Photo: © Ben Buchanan

Bouton S'inscrire à l'infolettre – WestmountMag.caOther recent articles

Boasting more than 1.3 million visitors annually, the MMFA is one of Canada’s most visited museums and the eighth-most visited museum in North America. The Museum’s original temporary exhibitions combine various artistic disciplines – fine arts, music, film, fashion and design – and are exported around the world. Its rich encyclopedic collection, distributed among five pavilions, includes international art, world cultures, decorative arts and design, and Quebec and Canadian art. For more information, consult the Website 

There are no comments

Add yours