Montréal, December 9, 2019 — The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal invites the public – as a family, with friends, or on your own – to take advantage of the holiday season to come and enjoy, one last time, the six exhibitions being presented until January 5, including the presentation of Montréal painter Janet Werner’s intriguing portraits of invented women. Also on view: Toronto artist Luis Jacob’s images, Montréal artist Serge Tousignant’s polychrome sculptures, Francis Alÿs’s disarming videos of children improvising games around the world, a museum presentation of Bleu de bleu, Alain Paiement’s monumental artwork on Highway 20, the MAC Rotunda reinvented in a series of inkjet prints by Gisele Amantea, and two video works by William Kentridge. And there’s more! Those with an artistic bent can participate in the Workshop/Tour Holiday Combo, featuring an exhibition tour and a creative workshop.

The MAC is open throughout the holiday period, except for Monday, December 23, Wednesday, December 25 and Wednesday, January 1. In January, the Museum will announce its winter exhibitions.

Workshop/Tour Holiday Combo
December 28–29, 2019, and January 4–5, 2020, at 1:30 or 2:30 p.m.

In association with Janet Werner’s exhibition, the Faire de l’effet workshop involves participants in painting portraits in any genre (realist, abstract, distorted, or other) as they reflect on the nature of the portrait in contemporary art. The workshop is preceded by a guided tour to inspire the participants.

The exhibitions to see or see again!

Janet Werner

In this comprehensive overview, visitors will have an opportunity to gauge the scope of Montreal-based painter Janet Werner’s practice; since the 1990s she has developed a unique genre of fictional portraits featuring invented subjects. References to pop culture, humour, and the carnivalesque mingle with an aura of strangeness in Werner’s works, many of which are executed in cadavre exquis manner, from collages of found, folded, and rearranged fashion photographs, coming mostly from contemporary fashion magazines. Since 2015, she has also been giving increased attention to the paintings’ production context, representing the studio as work site, with source photographs and paintings cohabiting in a mise en abyme that even occasionally disposes of the figure altogether.

A major figure in Canadian painting who has played a prominent role in updating the portrait genre, Werner blurs the lines between abstraction and realism, between real and imaginary, to the spectator’s delight.

Francis Alÿs: Children’s Games

World-renowned for his body of work at the crossroads of the political and poetic, disrupting our perceptions of the world, Belgian artist Francis Alÿs is interested in everyday gestures and the political and symbolic potential that they contain. Ongoing since 1999 and now comprising nearly twenty videos, this project shows how children turn simple, ordinary things—coins, stones, plastic bottles and so on—into the raw material for unlikely and fantastical universes. Through the sparkling imagination of children, Alÿs presents an intimate yet political view of the universal and unifying nature of games.

Je vois ce que tu regardes: Luis Jacob and Serge Tousignant

Works by artists Luis Jacob (Toronto) and Serge Tousignant (Montréal) are brought together in an unprecedented pairing that shows how a field of artistic research – in this case, the spectator’s experience – can be conveyed in different ways. Jacob offers visitors a series of images, his Album X, in which the heterogeneity of subjects and absence of descriptive legends creates a context in which spectators are free to reconstruct linkages and unusual relationships. The effect of Tousignant’s polychrome sculptures formed of colourful shapes is to engage in a more direct relationship with spectators by acting directly on their experience of the space.

Alain Paiement : Bleu de bleu

The result of research developed over a four-year period, Bleu de bleu frames a small concrete-and-asphalt stretch of the world along Highway 20 between Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport and downtown Montréal. In this exhibition, the MAC presents the work as it has been integrated into the Musée collection: an installation made up of thirty-two videographic, photographic and sculptural elements, whose conceptual nature is intrinsically linked to its monumental, eponymous in situ placement. The work at the museum remains an experience of time and space, but one revealed through layers of data: it comprises a near-inextricable, labyrinthine series of documents and images, of plans, drawings, surveys and projections.

The Bleu de bleu project is accompanied by a publication by the Presses de l’Université de Montréal, created in collaboration with the MAC.

Gisele Amantea

Revisiting the MAC Rotunda in an original and disruptive way in a new series of ink-jet prints, Gisele Amantea combines photographic documentation of this iconic space of the Museum with drawings inspired by Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s mid-eighteenth-century etchings. Her stated intent is “a personal critique of the museum and a musing both on its power dynamics and on the position I have in relation to it as an artist.” Exhibiting these prints in the Rotunda, the MAC playfully participates in a critique of its own institution at a moment of anticipation before the transformation project begins, in which the Rotunda is slated to disappear.

William Kentridge

South African artist William Kentridge is known for his philosophical reflections on time, violence and resilience that address the history of colonialism, and the aspirations and failures of revolutionary politics. Second-hand Reading, an intimate animated piece created in 2003, and Learning the Flute, which was created in 2003 and is now part of the museum’s collection, are poetic odes to the archetypes of knowledge, art and culture, presented as a succession of black and white charcoal drawings that are continuously erased and reworked by the artist. Working in the sociopolitical context of apartheid and its aftermath in South Africa, William Kentridge’s intuitive approach offers an evolutionary content where meaning is built through the act of creation.


The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal is a provincially owned corporation funded by the ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec. It receives additional funding from the Government of Canada and the Canada Council for the Arts. The MAC would also like to thank its media partners: La Presse and The Gazette.

Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal

Located in the heart of the Quartier des Spectacles, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal makes today’s art a vital part of Montréal and Québec life. For more than fifty years, this vibrant museum has brought together local and international artists, their works and an ever-growing public. It is also a place of discovery, offering visitors experiences that are continually changing and new, and often unexpected and stirring. The MAC presents temporary exhibitions devoted to outstanding and relevant current artists who provide their own particular insight into our society, as well as exhibitions of works drawn from the museum’s extensive collection. These may feature any and every form of expression: digital and sound works, installations, paintings, sculptures, ephemeral pieces, and more. In addition to its wide range of educational activities familiarizing the general public with contemporary art, the MAC organizes unique artistic performances and festive events. It is a window onto a myriad of avant-garde expressions that extend the reach of art throughout the city and beyond.

Source and Information

Anne Dongois
T. 514 826-2050
[email protected]