MONTREAL, Sept. 11 /CNW Telbec/ - Portraits of men that seem straight out
of the Renaissance, dressed in high-tech outdoor wear; the technical
virtuosity of the Flemish masters, in hyperrealistic paintings that verge on
the photographic; intimate portraits of people who do not reveal themselves.
Come fall under their spell... The Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal
presents the exhibition Karel Funk from September 20, 2007 to January 6, 2008.
Karel Funk produces portraits of men shown in head-and-shoulders view,
painted in acrylic on wood panels. Dressed in protective outdoor clothing, the
subjects are often seen in three-quarter profile or from behind, with their
heads bowed or covered with a hood, so that we are rarely allowed to meet the
models' gaze. Each of them is set against a neutral, all-white background,
setting off the figure in a vague space that lacks any real depth. His
paintings suggest multiple references to art history, in particular to certain
Renaissance portraits, but remain firmly rooted in the present.
The fascination exerted by Karel Funk's work stems in large part from the
tensions between the extreme precision of the rendering and the imprecision of
the space, between the revelation of the body and the restraint of the pose,
between the personal and the anonymous.
The exhibition-the artist's first in a museum-features a group of
portraits produced over the past five years. It was organized by Pierre
Landry, curator at the Musée.
Karel Funk was born in 1971 in Winnipeg, where he continues to live and
work. In the space of less than five years, he has attracted remarkable
critical notice with his exhibitions at the 303 Gallery in New York (2004 and
2007). In 2004, Artforum rated him one of the "Year's Best." Robert Rosenblum
elaborated: "An unforgettable miniature portrait gallery of eleven monkish
aliens from the bleak world of North Face. ... What we see most of are small
patches of exposed skin and hair, rendered with a fanatical hyperrealism of
stubble and pore that might make a Flemish primitive jealous."
A 64-page catalogue accompanies the exhibition. It contains essays by the
show's curator Pierre Landry and by Carter Foster, curator at the Whitney
Museum of American Art, a biobibliography and 21 illustrations. The catalogue
may be purchased for $19.95 at the museum's Olivieri Bookstore or from your
Meet the artist
Karel Funk will meet the public on Wednesday, September 19, 2007 at 5:30
p.m. in the Banque Laurentienne Gallery. The meeting will take place in
The Musée d'art contemporain is a provincially owned corporation funded
by the Ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine
du Québec. It receives additional funding from the Department of Canadian
Heritage and the Canada Council for the Arts, as well as from Lichen
For further information:
For further information: Danielle Legentil, Public Relations
Coordinator, (514) 847-6232, email@example.com; Visual material
available: www.macm.org, Newsroom, Link: Visual material, User name: presse,