Courtesy Allan MacKay
Chris Cran and Josée Drouin-Brisebois
On Thursday May 19th the National Gallery of Canada launched a triumphal celebration to inaugurate their forty year survey exhibition of over 100 works: Chris Cran: Sincerely Yours. A large appreciative crowd packed the NGC auditorium to commence the evening treated to a dialogue between the artist and curator Josée Drouin-Brisebois, followed in rapid succession with a book signing, preview of the extensive show then a raucous and joyous reception. The exquisite catalogue (available for purchase online) features contributions by five authors including Alberta’s Nancy Tousley and Ryan Doherty. Thanks go out to NGC, AGA and SAAG for their superb production bringing national recognition to a fine deserving artist, a mainstay of art in western Canada.
Chris Cran and Nancy Tousley
Chris Cran and friends
By their nature, VIP previews are invitation only events. Nevertheless, the place was jumping. Supporters of Chris Cran came from every corner of Canada and beyond: corporate and private sponsors, collectors, contributors, artists, curators, fashionistas and many other admirers. The crowd was awash with notable, influential Calgarians; one had to wonder who was left back at home to guard the fort? I took note that it was particularly poignant and appropriate that certain key individuals made the journey: Peter Boyd a collector and enthusiast who has been there for the ride from the very beginning and artists/collaborators Dennis Hrubizna and John Will. Without question the irreverent and irrepressible John Will has had a hand in supporting and encouraging much of Cran’s manic ventures over the years.
Chris and Pablo
Visitors are greeted to the National Gallery festooned by paired, co-equal banners heralding both Chris Cran and Picasso. To steal a line from comedian Jon Oliver, the response so far of most observers has been: ”Well that’s huge for Picasso; that’s a big deal!"