New Acquisitions

Among our recent acquisitions, here is a selection of works you can discover right now in our galleries.

Shannon Bool

Michaelerplatz 3, 2016
Wool and cotton fibres, Trevira CS fibres, 1/2
288.3 × 188 cm. 

Wool and cotton fibres, Trevira CS fibres, 1/2
288.3 × 188 cm.
Photo: Courtesy the artist and the Daniel Faria Gallery, Toronto

The Collection of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal recently gained a new acquisition thanks to the bequest of Paule Poirier, a visionary patron who offered the Musée a major gift totalling over $2 million and dedicated to art purchases. A crowd favourite when it was shown at the Musée in fall 2016, Michaelerplatz 3, by Canadian artist Shannon Bool, is the first work acquired through the generosity of Paule Poirier.

A Canadian figure with a well-established international reputation, Bool works in a variety of media, such as drawing, painting, sculpture and photography. As is evident in Michaelerplatz 3, which incorporates photography into the tapestry-making process, the artist’s technical explorations blur the boundaries between conventional categories. Influenced by art history, literature, psychology and the decorative arts, she demonstrates a pronounced interest in formal considerations in the production of her pieces, at the same time as she addresses political, sociological and cultural issues, including those of a colonial and postcolonial nature.

Michaelerplatz 3 is a textile piece that references the address of a famous building: the Looshaus, built in Vienna in 1909 by the modernist architect Adolf Loos, who was known for his radical rejection of ornamentation. The artist produced a collage of a chrome-plated mannequin, set in the marble entrance, whose reflection seems to go on to infinity in the nearby mirrors. This headless, naked female body, surrounded by reflective surfaces, may recall the device of a store window being dressed. However, its enigmatic presence in these opulent surroundings generates a tension that catches our eye. Bool’s recent tapestry work is considered a cornerstone and a signature representative of her current practice. Michaelerplatz 3 gives us a sense of its entire rigour and scope.

Aude Moreau

Gençay, France, 1969
Lives and works in Montréal (Québec).

La Ligne bleue n° 2, 2014
Inkjet print mounted on Dibond, ⅓

Maquette Lower Manhattan, 2014
3D printing (Polyjet resin),acrylic and acrylic paint

Aude Moreau, La Ligne bleue n° 2, 2014. Inkjet print mounted on Dibond, 1/3
Gift from the Collection Loto-Québec, in partnership with the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. Collection Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal

Aude Moreau, Maquette Lower Manhattan, 2014. 3D printing (Polyjet resin), acrylic and acrylic paint
Gift from the Collection Loto-Québec, in partnership with the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. Collection Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal

Gift from the Collection Loto-Québec, in partnership with the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal
Collection Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal

La Ligne bleue is a site-specific intervention project that the artist hopes to carry out on the facades of twenty buildings in Manhattan’s financial district. She plans to use the office tower lighting to trace a skyline in the New York night sky at a height of 65 metres, which would correspond to the rise in sea level if the planet underwent a sudden ice melt.

La Ligne bleue no 2 and Maquette Lower Manhattan, designed to model the intervention in New York prior to its execution, document different exploratory phases in the project. While the maquette reproduces the cadastral map of the lots occupied by the buildings in question, the photograph simulates the blue light that emanates from within the offices against a dark background, making the buildings and their surroundings disappear. The result is a line of light that subtly suggests the ghostly imprint of the city’s architectural framework.

Claudie Gagnon

Montréal (Québec), 1960
Lives and works in Québec City (Québec).

Tableaux, 2011
Colour video, 21 min 31 s, sound

Claudie Gagnon, Tableaux, 2011. Colour video, 21 min 31 s, sound
Gift of Collection Loto-Québec, acquired in partnership with the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. Collection of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal

Gift of Collection Loto-Québec, acquired in partnership with the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal
Collection of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal

This video work by Claudie Gagnon adapts the technique of the tableau vivant, a motionless staging traditionally presented live in front of an audience, and transposes it to the medium of film. Here she re-explores the genres, compositions, poses and gestures of painting, but puts the emphasis not on the action of the various figures, which is actually quite minimal, but on sound. The characters, who barely move, seem to be animated by a strange audio presence that underlines Gagnon’s grotesque yet humorous view of the history of art. Each scene – whether featuring the female saints of El Greco, José de Ribera’s bearded woman, a fifteenth-century genre picture by Netherlandish artist Hieronymus Bosch, the surrealism of Otto Dix, Edvard Munch’s famous Scream or the saltimbanques of Honoré Daumier and Pablo Picasso – possesses an extremely subtle acoustic dimension. Offering an allegory of painting, Tableaux casts an amusing and ironic eye over the art of the past.

Hajra Waheed

Calgary (Alberta), 1980
Lives and works in Montréal (Québec).

The Video Installation Project 1-10, 2011-2013
HD Video, 1/3
33 min 14 s

Hajra Waheed, The Video Installation Project 1-10 : Fayaz (installation view), 2011-2013. HD Video, 1/3, 33 min 14 s
Collection of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. Photo: Paul Litherland

List of vignettes:

Beach Tent, 3 min 29 s
Grove, 1 min 29 s
Dead Sea, 5 min 40 s
Fayaz, 3 min 42 s
Hut 1, 2 min 8 s
Hut 2, 1 min 31 s
The Stadium, 2 min 34 s
The Garden, 2 min 54 s
Darth, 1 min
The Wave, 9 min 21 s

Inspired by news stories, in-depth research and her own journey, Hajra Waheed takes a critical look at issues related to the workings of power, mass surveillance and the traumas that stem from mass migration. The visual language she has developed reflects her early years in Saudi Arabia, where she experienced uprootedness, censorship, travel restrictions and the first Gulf War. 

The Video Installation Project 110 is a video work consisting of 10 short vignettes produced in various places where photographic and video documentation is prohibited. These micro-narratives, developed like discreet observation exercises, arise out of a lengthy process of image gathering. In them, the artist captures beauty in the mundane, surprises in everyday routine, cultural distortion and the constraints of censorship. Nothing in this work is staged. The events filmed form a series of “magic moments,” like so many pages of a private diary in which the spectacular and the banal collide.