Art Gallery of Ontario debuts Picturing the Americas: Landscape Painting from Tierra del Fuego to the Arctic

Drawing on the power that the land holds in our imaginations, Picturing the Americas: Landscape Painting from Tierra del Fuego to the Arctic invites visitors to traverse a vast and magnificent landmass that spans from Canada’s Arctic to the icy tip of Argentina and Chile and to see its icons anew. Featuring more than 100 landscapes from across the hemisphere, the connections and continuities of our shared history and land are undeniable: we are connected and yet we are distinct.

Created between the early 1800s and the early 1900s, just as nations in the Americas gained and asserted their independence, the paintings represent efforts by explorers and by artists — both European and locally born — to capture and define the essence of a place on canvas, always rooted in the natural beauty of the land.

Staged as a series of encounters between artworks, visitors and the land, Picturing the Americas is arranged thematically in dramatic groupings. Visitors will encounter beloved and unfamiliar sites as seen through the eyes of such celebrated landscape artists as Brazil’s Félix Émile Taunay and Trasila do Amaral, Mexico’s Eugenio Landesio and Gerardo Murillo “Dr. Atl,” Canada’s Cornelius Krieghoff and Lawren S. Harris and Frederic E. Church and Georgia O’Keeffe from the United States.

In bringing together for the first time iconic works from various nations, Picturing the Americas reveals how landscapes communicate aspirations, nationhood and distinct cultural identity. It also challenges visitors to engage with environmental issues and consider the land as a space of conquest, exploration and contemplation – issues still very pertinent today.

Picturing the Americas launches on June 20th, and concludes on September 20, 2015.

The exhibition is organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario, Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo and the Terra Foundation for American Art, which is also recognized for its generous support.

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