Welcome to the NATO Association of Canada’s virtual gallery!
This summer we at the NAOC are very excited to present various visual artworks and performances from each NATO member state. Art is a powerful way to promote NATO’s message of peace, prosperity and diversity, and we hope you enjoy seeing the selected works!
The United Kingdom 🇬🇧 The Art Gallery of Ontario has an incredible collection of paintings in the Mulvihill Gallery called “British Watercolours From J.M.W. Turner To Beatrix Potter”. This exhibit features 20 beautiful watercolour paintings by British artists from the late 18th to early 20th centuries. Many focus on the natural environment, including sunsets, landscapes and animals. If you’re interested in seeing this exhibit in person, admission is free to AGO Members, AGO Annual Pass Holders & visitors aged 25 and under!
Spain We are very happy to be sharing this video from the PHotoESPAÑA photography festival in Madrid called “El vecindario más grande del mundo”, or The Biggest Neighbourhood in the World. The PHotoESPAÑA photography festival was founded in Madrid in 1998 with the intention of developing a festival rooted in society. This summer, after noticing the essential role that balconies and windows were playing in Spanish citizens’ quarantine experiences, PHotoESPAÑA invited anyone who was interested to share a photo from their balcony with them. These photos were complied into the project #PHEdesdemibalcón.
Iceland These spectacular photos from Iceland are courtesy of Perlan! The Perlan museum in Reykjavík was designed by architect Ingimundur Sveinsson and opened to the public on June 21, 1991. Their website describes the inspiration behind the building as such: In 1930, one of Iceland’s most important artists, painter Jóhannes Kjarval described his vision for a magnificent building to grace the top of Öskjuhlíð Hill: “The sides of the temple should be laid with mirrors, so the northern lights could approach the feet of men – the roof should be decorated with crystals in the colours of the rainbow, and a beam of light should be on the ridge to shine in all directions. The building itself should reflect the light of day and the signs of the night,” he said. Today, Perlan’s state of the art Forces of Nature exhibition allows guests to be immersed in different parts of Iceland’s stunning natural environment, including volcanoes, an ice cave, and even the Northern Lights.
🇺🇸 The United States of America The American artist we chose to highlight is Robert Duncanson, a pioneering nineteenth century African-American artist whose landscape paintings are represented in the Art Gallery of Ontario’s collection. You can learn more about Mr. Duncanson’s life and work, including the above painting of Beauport, Quebec, on the AGO’s website! https://ago.ca/agoinsider/freeman-color
Belgium Our selection for Belgium is the painting Notre Temps by Roger Somville (1923-2014)! This extraordinary mural is 600 m² and sits at the Hankar metro station in Brussels. In the work we can see crowds of people, a newspaper reader, a demonstration and more, all in intense shades of red and orange. If you look closely, you may see a timeline unfolding… Mr. Somville was passionate about bridging the gap between art and the public. He believed that art must be integrated into real life with its choice of themes, and wanted his work to address real world issues. He also represented Belgium at the World Peace Council.
Italy 🇮🇹 The Aga Khan Museum in Toronto is currently partnering with Imago Mundi Art to present Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From, an exhibit dedicated to telling the story of the second-generation experience in a series of diverse artistic commissions, and fostering dialogue and understanding between cultures and communities. The exhibit opened in Italy in November 2019, and will be completing its North American premiere at the Aga Khan Museum on October 11, 2020, before continuing its travels to venues across Canada, the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. You can view a full tour of the exhibit, as well as interviews with the artists and curators, online. https://agakhanmuseum.org/exhibitions/dont-ask-me-where-im-from
Canada 🇨🇦 We are happy to be sharing these images from the collection of Canadian curator Christopher Varley, currently on display at the Ryerson Image Centre. Donated in 2018, this collection comprises 542 works by various Canadian photographers such as Geoffrey James, Douglas Curran, Fred Herzog, Fred Douglas and Philip Timms from the late nineteenth into the present century. The photographs document diverse landscapes and changing cityscapes across the country. Representing some of the country’s most significant photographers in a broad range of media, the collection provides an in-depth and important resource on the history of Canada and Canadian photography. You can view more images in the collection here: https://ryersonimagecentre.ca/…/canadian-photographs…/
Germany This Arts and Culture post is courtesy of the National Gallery of Canada. This famous portrait of mohawk leader Thayendanegea (Joseph Brant) was painted by William Berczy, a German artist who emigrated to North America in the late eighteenth century. It was painted in 1807, shortly after Brant’s death. William Berczy was born in Bavaria in 1744 and emigrated to Pennsylvania in 1792. He re-located again to present day Toronto shortly after and in 1794 was offered a large plot of land North of the city in exchange for establishing the new town of York. Thayendanegea was a Mohawk military and political leader, born in 1743 in present-day New York, who was closely associated with Great Britain during and after the American Revolution. This portrait features the leader in full regalia standing in front of a beautiful natural landscape. You can view the portrait here: https://www.gallery.ca/…/art…/thayendanegea-joseph-brant. To find out more about William Berczy, visit the website of the Goethe-Institut Toronto: https://www.goethe.de/ins/ca/en/kul/sup/dsk/dstu/bep.html
Poland In January this year the Canadian Museum of Human Rights opened an exhibit called Strength in Numbers: The Polish Solidarity Movement. This exhibit tells the story of the mass 1980 strike in Gdańsk, Poland that inspired the Solidarity movement and united 10 million workers across the country. Visit the below link to find out more about this historic example of collective action that brought profound social and political change to an entire nation. https://humanrights.ca/exhibition/strength-in-numbers-the-polish-solidarity-movement?fbclid=IwAR1jX3O55BnxU8ZUZzfTneK2rvx7NGmmbOQkBz8Qqjs1q7vB9irw8-2LfaI