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"Collector's Items and the Connoisseur's Gaze"
2002-05-08 until 2002-06-16
Bishop's University Art Gallery
The Art Gallery of Bishop's University is pleased to present
Collector‚s Items and the Connoisseurs Gaze from May 8 to
June 16, 2002. Curated by Valerie Rousseau and Jean Simard of
the Société des arts indisciplinés, this exhibition showcases a
selection of works from the private collection of Pierre Riverin.
Between 1961 and 1996, Pierre Riverin built a collection of folk
art composed of hundreds of works by artists who had followed
their course on the fringe of official art networks.
is a microcosm which is difficult to divide, however the curators
have decided to highlight eight artists of significance whom
Riverin referred to as "key figure". Through its staging, this
exhibition presents the works of Arthur Villeneuve, Arthur
Bouchard, Léo Fournier, Félicien Lévesque, Yvon Côté,
Edmond Châtigny, Oscar Héon and Honoré Hunt, as artists
recognized for their singular and persuasive artistic aims. By
individualizing them in this way, the exhibition opposes the
tendency towards standardization and homogeneity still frequent in
folk art, and strives to allow the works to reflect a certain
coherence of expression and aesthetics absent in the discourse
intended for their defence.
Is there a folk art specific to Francophone Quebec and its
diaspora scattered to the four corners of the continent? If such is
the case, ought one to search for the explanation in the origins of
the culture? In other words, is art an inheritance just as language
is? Is there a folk art which has come from France and taken on
an American accent? For even before knowing whether or not
Francophone folk art exists in North America, it is necessary to
assemble the criteria around which the objects themselves have
been brought together. The identity of folk art is based on displays
created by museologists, writers and collectors, distinguished by
their points of view, tastes and classification of different works.
There is, therefore, no overall consensus on the issue of folk art,
but rather diverging and contrasting views.
Valerie Rousseau and Jean Simard would like to thank Fonds
Jeunesse Québec, La Fondation du maire de Montréal pour la
Jeunesse, La Société des arts technologiques, The American Folk
Art Museum and Véron ique and Pierre Riverin for contributing to
the realization of this exhibition.