Photographic book

Canadian visual arts


Gerald Gladstone
Gerald Gladstone

Canadian art changed radically during the last three decades of the 20th century. The traditional arts of painting and sculpture were infiltrated by photography, video, and other forms of technology, as well as by mixed-media installations. As artists experimented with new materials and technologies, the combination of several artistic media in a single artwork became the dominant characteristic of Canadian art.

At the same time, Canadian artists, like artists elsewhere, began to question the role of the artist in society. Artists reflected on social and political issues such as the environment, multiculturalism, communication, sexual identity, and the meaning of Canadian history. As artists across the country questioned the purposes of art in a universal context, earlier regional differences and distinctions in Canadian art-making became less apparent and less important.

Many new resources became available for presenting and understanding contemporary visual culture. They include the Canada Council Art Bank, which purchases artwork and then loans it to government and art institutions, and public galleries dedicated to modern art, such as the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal and the Power Plant in Toronto. From the early 1970s on, artist-run exhibition spaces and documentation centers have been established in every city in Canada. These alternative galleries quickly became the principal sites for showing avant-garde art.

Canadian art has received exposure abroad in international exhibitions such as the biennials held in Venice, Italy, and São Paulo, Brazil, and in solo and survey shows at various galleries and museums. Canadian art periodicals that began publication in the late 20th century include Parachute, Parallellogramme, C Magazine, and The Journal of Canadian Art History/Annales d’histoire de l’art canadien. "Canada" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia.

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