Andrea Kunard

The Canadian Photography Institute of the National Gallery of Canada
200 pp col. & bw plates 10.5 x 8 in softcover
$49.00 Can. $49.00 U.S.
February 2017
This fifth and final volume in the series dedicated to the National Gallery of Canada’s immense photography collection documents the emergence of the medium as a recognized artistic discipline in Canada. The creation and growth of this unique collection reflects the enormous development in the practice, collection and display of photography over the latter half of the 20th century. Prior to this time, government institutions, commercial establishments and the legal, medical and journalism professions prized it for its documentary value. As a result, photographs rarely entered the collections of major institutions. This changed in the 1960s when art became more vigorous and dynamic. Photography especially articulated probing, contentious ideas of art, the artist, identity, sexuality and community. Art institutions, themselves undergoing radical transformation, acted as an interface between artist and public, and attempted to articulate movements and trends in art and photography. With dozens of full-page plates each accompanied by an individual abstract, the publication offers a scholarly essay providing artistic, cultural and historical context. Artists featured include those at the forefront of the changes in the 1960s and 1970s, as well as more contemporary figures who continue to push at the limits of the definition of the medium. They include Roy Arden, Raymonde April, Ed Burtnysky, Carol Condé and Karl Beveridge, Evergon, General Idea, Rodney Graham, Angela Grauerholz, Geoffrey James, Suzy Lake, Ken Lum, Gabor Szilasi, N.E. Thing Co, Ian Wallace and Jin-me Yoon.

About The Canadian Photography Institute:
The National Gallery has been collecting photographs for decades, first under the auspices of the National Film Board’s Still Photography Division founded in 1939, then through the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, founded in 1985. Both collections have since been integrated into the main collection. In 2015, the National Gallery established the Canadian Photography Institute (CPI), a research centre dedicated to the history, evolution and future of photography. Built on the foundation of the Gallery’s Collection of more than 50,000 photographs and 146,000 negatives and augmented by recent donations, the CPI will house one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of photographs representing the entire history of the medium and revealing the most important stories of the modern era.

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