Montréal, December 18, 2017 — The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal is pleased to launch two new exhibitions from its collection, as part of the Pictures for an Exhibition series, an evolving cycle of exhibitions based on works from the collection and intended to generate new connections between historical works and recent acquisitions, between the different media and artists of various generations. Presented as two experiences influenced by Leonard Cohen that are complementary to the Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything exhibition, The Gaze Listens (December 15, 2017, to March 25, 2018) consists of a sensory reflexion on rhythm, listening and sound, while That’s how the light gets in (December 15, 2017, to August 19, 2018) explores the use of light in the work of fifteen Quebec and Canadian artists, many of whom are up-and-coming. Both exhibitions are an opportunity to present to visitors new acquisitions from the MAC collection, as well as works from the collection that have never been seen by the public.

The Gaze Listens

This exhibition is laid out like a conversation that commands your auditory attention, even though most of the works gathered in this new portrait of the collection are invisible to the ear, but audible to the eye. It showcases pieces by Yves Gaucher, Pascal Grandmaison, Barbara Steinman and Takis that attach obvious importance to the optic and haptic implications of the verb “listen.”

At the gallery entrance, the visitors are greeted by a photographic diptych by Barbara Steinman: two open palms signal the role of the body as a vector of thought that transcends the inner world and the surrounding space. This same gallery is punctuated by Pascal Grandmaison’s photographic series Manner, which consists of drum skins that bear the marks of time and their repeated beating. Silent vestiges revealing the effort it takes for a musical performance, these images offer an abstract portrait of a percussionist.

The aesthetic explorations of Yves Gaucher transport us to spaces of silence that are not spaces of contemplation, but form a part of his unique grammar made up of visual rhythms: lines, colours, spaces and silences. The artist made the print Sono after his life-changing experience of the music of Austrian composer and conductor Anton Webern. In his search to give concrete expression to the presence of invisible energy through audible objects, Takis has developed a kinetic and electroacoustic body of work that probes the possibilities of magnetism and electromagnetism. This work is displayed for the first time.

Viewing rhythm as an essential property of form, and viewing both sound and silence as belonging to space, this exhibition constitutes a gesture that sets out to investigate these territories.
– Marie-Eve Beaupré, Curator of the MAC Collection

That’s how the light gets in

The question of light as both subject and material is vast, and compels us to rethink art in its most fundamental aspects. Without light, there is no visibility. An essential condition for our eyes to perceive anything, light quite logically lies at the core of artists’ practices and techniques. The object of reflection and representation, and a condition for the perception of any work, light is a meaningful parameter in the practice of some artists, and one that should be examined.

This portrait of the collection brings together works by Québec and Canadian artistspainters, for the most partaround a set of questions they were asked: How does light come into your work? How does it infuse your practice? Marie-Claire Blais, Jérôme Bouchard, Olivia Boudreau, Michel Daigneault, Pierre Dorion, Nicolas Lachance, Stéphane La Rue, Rita Letendre, Elizabeth McIntosh, Yann Pocreau, Leopold Plotek, Monique Régimbald-Zeiber, Marc Séguin, Claude Tousignant and Janet Werner all gave thought to these questions. Their responses, which are displayed along the route through the exhibition, provide insight into their highly individual approaches. Making their words a presence in the galleries offers their work new readings that are seldom accessible outside the privileged space of their studios.

Documenting the thoughts behind the choices made by practitioners also fulfils the curatorial requirements of a museum of contemporary art. We believe that a loquacious collection, brought to life through the artists’ own words, comes alive for today’s generations and is highly relevant for the history that is being built now.
– Marie-Eve Beaupré, Curator of the MAC Collection


The exhibition was curated by Marie-Eve Beaupré, Curator of the MAC Collection.

MAC collections now online

In addition to these two exhibitions, visitors can now discover part of the MAC collection online in the recently launched Collections section of the MAC’s Web site. This digital offering is a first for the museum. Thanks to the support of the Plan culturel numérique du Québec, the MAC is able to share close to 300 works. The selection reflects diverse forms of artistic expression while providing an opportunity to learn more about the Quebec, Canadian and international artists represented in the MAC’s collection. The public is only a few clicks away from exploring digital, sound and video works with exclusive access to clips – installations, paintings, sculptures, photographs and works on paper, complemented by a wealth of information in the form of images, texts and audio and video clips.

The MAC open during the holidays

With the launch of these two exhibitions, the entire MAC will be open over the holidays, every day except on December 25 and January 1. To see the full schedule:


The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (MAC) is a provincially owned corporation funded by the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec. It receives additional funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Canada Council for the Arts. The MAC would also like to thank its partners Loto-Quebec and Ubisoft Montreal.

The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal is grateful to Québec’s Ministère de la Culture et des Communications for a grant provided under its program to support permanent exhibitions, which has made this project possible.

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 Permanent 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]