Introduction

Nearly three years ago, the Galerie de l’UQAM undertook the major task of taking stock of present-day painting in Canada. This initiative arose from two central ideas: that of painting as a fundamental component of a Canadian art history still struggling to define itself; and the fact that, for many people, painting seems to be the first thing that comes to mind in regard to the field of visual arts. The Painting Project, initially is intended to provide a picture of current artistic exploration through the presentation of sixty works by as many artists.

Our approach to the field of painting reflects a desire to examine the nature of the movements, the evolution of the discipline and the energies that address issues specific to the painting medium. The research, which covered the entire Canadian scene, brought to light an account of painting revealed by the activities of artist-run centres, galleries and museum institutions, by prizes and grants awarded to artists, by the palpable excitement in art schools throughout the country, and by the growing number of works acquired for public and private collections.

The process of developing The Painting Project – with its exceptional depth and scope, element of risk, methodological difficulties and complex logistics – confirmed the intuition that such an initiative was vitally important. It has served to generate new knowledge and provide an updated view of Canadian painting as practiced today. Here is one of the possible snapshots. 


See the works