Exhibition - Vik Muniz: Reflex at the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal - October 4, 2007 to January 6, 2008

    MONTREAL, Sept. 19 /CNW Telbec/ - Peanut butter and jam, chocolate,
sugar, wire, dirt and diamonds are just a few of the astonishing range of
materials used by artist Vik Muniz in the images he produces and then
photographs. In a Québec and Canadian first, the Musée d'art contemporain de
Montréal presents Vik Muniz: Reflex from October 4, 2007 to January 6, 2008.
    Since the mid-1990s, Brazilian artist Vik Muniz has earned an
international reputation for the photographic pieces he creates out of
everyday materials. These images, inspired by current events, art history or
famous figures, are familiar yet enigmatic. Initially taking the form of witty
visual statements, his works question the way visual information is
constructed, presented and then perceived by the viewer.


    The exhibition contains 110 photographs, from 1988 to the present, from 27
series, including:

    - Best of Life (1988-1990) - famous pictures from Life magazine drawn
      from memory and then photographed and reprinted
    - Equivalents (1993) - simulations of cloud formations, made with lumps
      of cotton, inspired by Alfred Stieglitz' cloud studies
    - Pictures of Thread (1995-1999) - landscapes by Corot, Constable,
      Ruisdael and others, reproduced using thousands of metres of thread
    - Sugar Children (1996) - portraits of children of Caribbean sugar cane
      workers, drawn in sugar
    - Pictures of Chocolate (1997-2001) - re-creations, in chocolate syrup,
      of well-known images such as Hans Namuth's portrait of Jackson Pollock
      working on a drip painting
    - Earthworks (2002-2005) - large-scale line drawings in the earth or
      tabletop replicas, inspired by land art
    - Pictures of Color (2001) - arrangements of Pantone paint chips to
      create the illusion of digital images with a pointillist look
    - Pictures of Magazines (2003-2005) - portraits and famous artworks
      reproduced with millions of circular pieces of paper punched from
    - Monads (2003) - images created from figurines and plastic toys
    - Pictures of Diamonds (2004) - portraits of stars from Hollywood's
      "golden age," like Elizabeth Taylor, produced out of diamonds
    - Pictures of Junk (2005) - large-scale reconstructions of famous
      paintings, such as Caravaggio's Narcissus, made with recycled materials
    - Pictures of Pigment (2005) - masterpieces by Monet and Gauguin re-
      created in bright coloured pigment and blown up to monumental scale


    Vik Muniz was born in 1961 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He attended art classes
in high school but did not go on to college. Instead, he plunged into the
world of advertising, which left him with a lingering interest in the power
and manipulation of images. He moved to the United States in 1984, and settled
in New York in 1986. In 1988, having lost his copy of the book The Best of
Life, he began drawing his favourite images from memory, and then
photographing them. The questions this exercise raised about the nature of
perception and the role of photography prompted him to focus on what the
well-known art historian Ernst Gombrich termed the "art of illusion." Muniz
has worked in photography ever since, producing an incredible body of work
that probes the nature of visual representation and allows him to create, as
he says, "the worst possible illusion." After an initial moment of
recognition, the viewer quickly realizes that the images are not what they
first seemed.
    Since 1989, Muniz has exhibited widely, with solo exhibitions in highly
prestigious institutions in New York, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Barcelona,
Houston, Santiago de Compostela, Rome, Madrid and Dublin. He took part in the
24th Bienal de Sao Paulo in 1998, and represented Brazil at the 49th Venice
Biennale in 2001. He now divides his time between Rio de Janeiro and New York.
    Muniz' "illusions" have won over critics and public alike. Time Magazine
rated the artist as one of the "Leaders of the New Millennium" and The New
York Times recommended his work as a sure-fire antidepressant, describing it
as "an idea wrapped up in surprise and laughter"! Come see if it's
    Vik Muniz: Reflex was organized by the Miami Art Museum, Florida, with
support from MAM's Annual Exhibition Fund. Additional support was provided by
Duggal Visual Solutions. Peter Boswell, Assistant Director for Programs and
Senior Curator at the Miami Art Museum, curated the exhibition. Sandra Grant
Marchand, curator at the Musée d'art contemporain, organized the Montréal

    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

    In connection with the exhibition Vik Muniz: Reflex

    A major work in the Musée Collection

    The Vik Muniz exhibition provides an opportunity to show a masterly work
now in the Musée Collection. Irises, after Van Gogh (from Pictures of
Magazines), 2004, was acquired in 2006, through the generosity of the
Fondation du Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal. It will be on public
display throughout the exhibition.


    A 204-page book, published by the Miami Art Museum in partnership with
the Aperture Foundation, accompanies the exhibition. Unusually, this work,
titled Reflex: A Vik Muniz Primer, was written entirely by the artist. Over
the course of its 16 chapters, he describes his creative process and the
sources that inspired him. It is a fascinating journey into artistic creation
and the history of contemporary visual culture. The catalogue also includes a
bibliography and reproductions of works by Muniz and by many other artists and
photographers. It may be purchased for $52.95 at the museum's Olivieri
Bookstore or from your local bookseller.
    The current issue of Le Journal du Musée also features an essay by Sandra
Grant Marchand, curator at the Musée and organizer of the exhibition's
presentation in Montréal.

    Exhibition tour

    The exhibition Vik Muniz: Reflex was first presented in 2006 at the Miami
Art Museum. It then travelled to the Contemporary Art Museum, University of
South Florida, and to the Seattle Art Museum. This year, before coming to the
Musée d'art contemporain, it was presented at the Museum of Contemporary Art,
San Diego.

    Meet the artist

    Vik Muniz will take advantage of the Montréal presentation to meet the
public just before the opening, on Wednesday, October 3, 2007, at 5:30 p.m.
The meeting will take place in English.

    Point(s) of View Series

    In conjunction with the exhibition Vik Muniz: Reflex, curator Sandra
Grant Marchand will meet the public on Wednesday, October 10, 2007 at 6 p.m.
The tour will be conducted in French.

    Art video

    A documentary on Vik Muniz' work will be screened throughout the
exhibition in the Famille Guy Angers & Rougier Inc. video room at the entrance
to the Muniz galleries. Worst Possible Illusion: The Curiosity Cabinet of Vik
Muniz invites the public into the artist's life, work and thoughts. Dir.:
Anne-Marie Russell, New York: Mixed Greens, 2004 (56 min). The film will also
be shown in the Gazoduc-TQM Room from November 5, 2007 to January 6, 2008.

    Art workshops and tours

    New on the art workshop schedule is Vikifetti, a workshop inspired by Vik
Muniz' Pictures of Magazines series, where participants (aged six and up) will
turn a finely detailed collage into a fascinating image. For all, with family
or friends, on Sunday November 4, 11, 18 and 25, and December 2, at 2 p.m. and
3 p.m. Free with Musée admission and for children under 12 (must be
accompanied by an adult). The workshop is also offered as part of Creative
Tuesdays held for adults on Tuesday, November 6, 13 and 20 from 1:30 to 4 p.m.
Cost: $10 per workshop. Registration: (514) 847- 6266.
    Tours of the exhibition are given on Wednesday evenings at 6, 7 and
7:30 p.m. in French and 6:30 p.m. in English, as well as on Saturdays and
Sundays at 1 and 3 p.m., and French and English.

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For further information:

For further information: Danielle Legentil, Public Relations
Coordinator, (514) 847-6232, danielle.legentil@macm.org; Visual material
available: www.macm.org, Newsroom, Link: Visual material, User name: presse,
Password: Borduas

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