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If you dwell on the decline of a loved one, then you rant and rave and nothing changes. Of course I wish my father, William Perehudoff, had been well enough to travel to the opening of his exhibition The Optimism of Colour at Oshawa’s Robert McLaughlin Gallery, but, as I have learned from experience, ranting and raving and dwelling gets you nowhere at all. (Although it feels very refreshing.)
Instead, I chose to celebrate. This is the last stop of William Perehudoff’s retrospective and it’s been quite a ride. Travel and art is part of my life, and although I missed the opening in Kamloops, I made it to the opening in Calgary at the Glenbow Museum, where the Perehudoff-inspired appetizers were truly … inspired. And tasty.
Windsor, back in the spring, was a crazy opening because there were 3 different shows opening at the Art Gallery of Windsor, all engaging in a dialogue about abstract art, plus both my sisters came down, Rebecca from Chicago and Catherine from Saskatoon, and a lively debate about the validity of abstract art ensued. I was on the It’s Valid team, but this could be due to brainwashing since birth.
And I can’t forget the Mendel opening in Saskatoon back last September. This was a version of My Big Fat Russian Art Opening. So many artists and dealers flew in and it was a great party. Even dad attended. We hustled him in in his wheelchair before the opening but somehow (who leaked the news?) a lot of people found out so they came and it was a party before a party. My father was pleased.
The Oshawa opening at the Robert McLaughlin had it’s own vibe. The show has been scaled down, and was hung in an inventive way that wasn’t chronological, and ended up revealing relationships between paintings I hadn’t seen before.
Karen Wilkin, the curator of the show, flew in from New York and gave an inspired talk. She’s one smart cookie.
Sister Rebecca flew in (and thanks, Mark, for driving us around).
A slew (a flock? a pride?) of artists showed up: Carol Sutton, Andre Fauteux, Katja Jacobs, Kelly McNeil, Milly Ristvedt, Paul Fournier, Alice Teichert … and Robert McLaughlin Gallery director, Gabrielle Peacock, was a bright spot of colour in a room, um, full of colour.
Art dealers Nikola Rukaj from Rukaj Gallery in Toronto and Andrew Lui from Han Gallery in Montreal were there in full celebration mode. And that’s what we did, we celebrated William Perehudoff’s amazing career.
The Optimism of Colour: William Perehudoff, a retrospective will be showing at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery until Sept 9, 2012. Author and historian Roald Nasgaard will be speaking about William Perehudoff at the closing, Sunday, Sept 9.
Read more about William Perehudoff
I love my dad: William Perehudoff in Victoria.
William Perehudoff at the Glenbow Art Gallery in Calgary.