The National Gallery of Canada’s Director and CEO, Marc Mayer, and the Director of the Canadian Photography Institute, Luce Lebart, officially opened the Institute’s dedicated galleries today in the presence of representatives from Scotiabank – the Institute’s Founding Partner – and the National Gallery of Canada Foundation. Three unique exhibitions marked the inauguration of the Institute: The Intimate World of Josef Sudek, featuring a selection of contemplative photographs from the Czech pioneer of modernist photography, Cutline: The Photography Archives of the Globe and Mail, and PhotoLab 1, an essay exhibition on the theme of windows in photography. The public is invited to meet the curators and view the exhibitions free of charge tonight from 6 pm to 8 pm.
The Canadian Photography Institute’s new permanent galleries are located on the mezzanine level of the National Gallery of Canada. A key feature is an exhibition space dedicated to rotating informal photographic installations. Called PhotoLab, it will display exhibitions throughout the year organized by the Institute’s experts, as well as guest curators from various fields.
“We, at the National Gallery of Canada, are so proud to inaugurate the Canadian Photography Institute and provide a dedicated exhibition space for its vast and varied collections. We are deeply grateful to visionary patron and collector David Thomson; our founding partner Scotiabank, and to our strategic partner, the National Gallery of Canada Foundation, for their transformative contributions. This forward focused Institute would have been inconceivable without them. The Institute’s inaugural exhibitions – from Josef Sudek’s contemplative photographs to those in Cutline that capture the golden age of Canadian newspapers, to the experimental nature of PhotoLab – were conceived to express the great depth and diversity of the collections that comprise it. We hope that our visitors will quickly appreciate the historic significance of this new endeavor.” — Marc Mayer, Director and CEO, National Gallery of Canada
“What makes the Canadian Photography Institute unique, aside from the extraordinary donations it has received, is its collection. It is wonderfully rich and varied. Photography in all its forms is featured. Photography’s different purposes are recognized and valued; as are its producers - artist, documentarian, photojournalist, etc. –, formats - from metal to glass to paper- as well as the photographic process - from daguerreotype, to salted papers, to digital. This diversity is novel and very Canadian. It’s a Canadian collection, a Canadian perspective on the world, a photographic mosaic in a cultural mosaic landscape.” — Luce Lebart, Director, Canadian Photography Institute of the National Gallery of Canada
“Scotiabank is thrilled to celebrate the opening of the Canadian Photography Institute's new permanent space in the National Gallery of Canada. The arts expose us to new ideas, encourage us to pursue our passions, and are an important inspiration in particular for young people learning about themselves and the world. That's why we are so proud to be a Founding Partner of the Canadian Photography Institute, and to support its objective of making important photographic collections widely accessible across Canada and globally.” — Brian Porter, President and Chief Executive Officer of Scotiabank.
“Through the on-going philanthropic support by our Distinguished Patron, David Thomson, and through the historic contribution by Scotiabank, the National Gallery of Canada Foundation has been able to help set the wheels in motion for what promises to be a new era in Canadian photographic research and exhibition and a global centre of excellence.” — Thomas d’Aquino, Chairman, National Gallery of Canada Foundation
Three inaugural exhibitions
The Intimate World of Josef Sudek – On view from October 28, 2016 until February 26, 2017, this exhibition, organized by the Canadian Photography Institute of the National Gallery of Canada, is the first major show to examine the work and life of Josef Sudek (1896–1976) and his intimate circle of artist friends during the decades before and after the Second World War. The exhibition, which opened in Paris last June to critical acclaim, features 163 photographs, including some of the twentieth century’s most haunting images taken through the window of Sudek’s studio, as well as of gardens, parks and streets of his beloved city, Prague.
Cutline: The Photography Archives of the Globe and Mail –On view from October 28 until February 12, 2017, Cutline features some 175 photographs from The Globe and Mail’s archives dating from 1938 to 1990, presenting themes as varied as politics, fashion, labour, sports and crime. It is organized by the Canadian Photography Institute of the National Gallery of Canada, the Globe and Mail, and Archive of Modern Conflict.
PhotoLab 1– On view as of October 28, 2016, the exhibition is the first in a series that presents collaborative projects about photography in all its forms. The inaugural show complements the Josef Sudek exhibition by featuring 41 photographs taken through windows by photographers Eugène Atget, Phil Bergerson, Pascal Grandmaison, Clara Gutsche, and Nathan Lyons.