New, regional cultural centres opened across Canada in the 1960s, many in response to the nation’s centennial celebrations. In Saskatoon, the Mendel Art Gallery opened its doors on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River October 16, 1964. Aspirations for this civic art museum, at that time the largest public art museum in the province, were ambitious and international.
Modern Visions celebrates a half-century of excellence at the Mendel Art Gallery. Curated by Sandra Fraser, Associate Curator, and Lisa Baldissera, Chief Curator, the exhibition recalls the Mendel Art Gallery’s role in the local and national communities over the past 50 years. This exhibition reflects on the touchstones that have given the Mendel its personality and celebrates the gallery through a visual banquet of artworks. There are about 150 works in Modern Visions, drawn from the permanent collection, now numbering more than 7,000 works. Six themes will unfold through all the gallery spaces and the lower level with tiered, salon-style hangings, installations of key works, and video screening areas.
The Mendel Art Gallery has been an instigator, champion, advocate, steward and provocateur at various points in its exciting history. Throughout the exhibition key works have been selected to reveal these sites of engagement, pointing to the gallery’s role as a central force in the city, the province and the country, and its stewardship of visual practices over its 50 years.
The Mendel is grateful to Information Services Corporation and Kramer Ltd. for sponsoring Modern Visions.