Pop Life may be getting all the attention in the Ottawa art world, but if patrons of the National Gallery of Canada were to wander upstairs, they’ll find a rare treat in the Prints, Drawings and Photographs Galleries.
There’s no loud music and the lighting has been dimmed to protect the work, but Central European Drawings is nonetheless a major exhibition, which features rarely-seen prints and drawings from the gallery’s vault, as well as 30 new acquisitions.
“I think it just shows another aspect of art,” said exhibition curator Erika Dolphin.
“In contemporary art, there’s so many different things going on.
What you’re dealing with downstairs (at Pop Life) are some interesting and tough conceptual images and I think if you have the time to come upstairs, you get a more historical look at art and you get a more intimate look.
“Drawing is often associated with the artists’ more initial creative concepts, and it gives you some insight into that.”
The exhibit features 107 works by European masters spanning five centuries from the 16th century to the end of the Second World War, including Durer, Klimt, Kirchner, Nolde, Dix and Grosz.
“This is an opportunity to open the vaults on things that can’t normally be seen on a regular basis because they’re light sensitive,” Dolphin said.