Getting Naked: On Now at THEMUSEUM

by Virginia Eichhorn  |  @VirginiaEichhorn

Photo of Pure Juice Bar + Kitchen   

"Absolute nakedness was intrusive, confusing to the senses. Paradoxically, it both revealed and diminished identity." -- P.D. James

The Canada Council Art Bank has been collecting work by the best Canadian artists of our times for over forty years. It has become the world's largest collection of contemporary Canadian art with over 17,000 paintings, prints, photographs and sculptures by some 3,000 artists.

Given that artists, from the earliest days of humankind, have been making works that depict or represent the naked body, it is no surprise that a significant part of the collection consists of works where the subject is naked. Or nude. Or unclothed. The Art Bank has shared approximately 3,000 works every year through rental and outreach programs. Interestingly, works that depict fully or partially clothed bodies are rarely exhibited.

THEMUSEUM is the first to gather over 100 of these "forgotten" works for public exhibition, providing an opportunity to experience a collection of nationally-owned art pieces. The works selected were created over a span of almost a century and range in media, subject and styles.

The exhibition will be supported by The Naked Dialogues, a series of panels, speakers and films that explore topics from changing societal mores and values, art historical traditions and disruptions, censorship, the development of ideology and politics of the body, and other contextual issues. The challenges inherent in possessing a collection of work of undisputable artistic merit that people are reluctant to display will also be considered.

In a time when 'naked' holds such a fascination in our society, audiences will be exposed to different understandings and approaches to being nude, naked or unclothed. THEMUSEUM presents these unique works that Canada has been reluctant to publically display, to challenge perceptions, create discussions and ultimately determine: Do you Get Naked? 

THEMUSEUM is located at 10 King St W  |  @Marskell | @THEMUSEUM  |  THEMUSEUM.CA


Inside the exhibit:


Glenn Howarth