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Art represents art represents...Quotation exhibit now showing at the CCAG

May 16, 2013

(Charlottetown, P.E.I.) - Opening May 18 at P.E.I.'s major art gallery is Quotation, an exhibition concentrating on works of art which quote masterpieces from art history. Curated by Pan Wendt, this exhibition is selected primarily from the Gallery's permanent collection, with the addition of a few key loans, and features Canadian artists Hank Bull, Robert Harris, Lucy Hogg, and Leslie Poole, among others. Illustrations of this theme range from outright copies, as mnemonic devices, exercises, or works in their own right, such as Harris's versions of the two major Velazquez pieces from the Prado -- Las Meninas and Las Hilanderas. In these examples, Harris, well known for his famous portrait of the Fathers of Confederation, crops the original image in his own particular way, which results in an altered and reimagined work. Poole's quotation of the Las Meninas work is different because it is filtered through a number of lenses at once - Pablo Picasso's extensive quotation of the work, the work itself, the artist's own image, and the context of his engagement with the originals.

In Bull's 19-minute contemporary video work, Autumn Colours after Zhao Mengfu, the Vancouver artist evokes past and present-day China. Bull recreates the iconic Chinese landscape painting Autumn Colours by filming its two originally depicted mountains in the modern era.

"Bull's work is an example of the show's basic assertion," states Wendt, "which is that the allegorical act of quotation not only informs contemporary work as a source -- we are always rooted in tradition and all artists must contend with the great masterpieces -- but also informs our understanding of the past. By repainting the Velazquez pieces in his own way, Harris changes our understanding and experience of it."

Quotation opens May 18 and cites the masters until December. The Art Gallery is open Wednesday to Saturday from 11 - 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 - 5 p.m. Summer hours begin May 12, open daily from 9 - 5 pm. For more information, please visit confederationcentre.com.

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Image Cutline:
Robert Harris, Copy After Velázquez's "Las Hilanderas" (The Thread Spinners), 1898. Oil on canvas, 161.5 x 161.5 cm, Gift of the Robert Harris Trust, 1965, Collection of the Confederation Centre Art Gallery.