By Dorota Kozinska

 
Photography - and women - has gone through enormous changes; the 19th century images by England's Julia Margaret Cameron, with her trademark soft focus and Arthurian themes, have given way to powerful and unapologetically raw photographs by contemporary photographers such as Mexico's Teresa Margolles or Italian-born Tina Modotti.

Aiming to showcase its recent acquisitions of photographs by women, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts has decided to present them against a backdrop of a pantheon of mostly Canadian female photographers, in an original exhibition simply titled Elles Photographes/She Photographs.
The new works in its collection are by Raymonde April, Jacynthe Carrier and Angela Grauerholz, with loans by Andrea Shilasi and Katy Grannan.

Seventy works by thirty photographers explore themes from self-portraits (Kiki Smith), nudes and still lifes (Laura Letinsky and Carol Marino), to landscape (Sylvie Readman) and humanity (Catherine Opie).

What gives these images an extra powerful expression is the fact that many of these artists are also activists, performers, anthropologists and archaeologists.

Geneviève Cadieux is on the list, as is Claire Beaugrand-Champagne, whose images dealing with old age and death treat the subject matter with poignancy and visual flair.

Add to it works by Barbara Steinman and Holly King, and you have the making of fascinating display of the many facets of our reality seen through the eyes women artists. And, as the press release succinctly points out, they all add to our collective memory, gender notwithstanding.

She Photographs
A feminine View of Photography:
MMFA Acquisitions and Collections
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts(lien externe)
1380 Sherbrooke Street West
Montreal Quebec
Until February 19, 2017

Guy-Concordia-> Image

Éliane Excoffier (born in 1971)
Kiev (V), 2008. Gelatin silver print, 6/6, , MMFA,
purchase, the Canada Council for the Arts'
Acquisition Assistance Program
and Marjorie Caverhill Bequest
Image
Sarah Anne Johnson (born in 1976)
Nadine, From the series "Tree Planting", 2003, print 2007
Chromogenic print, face-mounted on acrylic
and mounted to aluminum, 1/5, 98 x 65 cm
MMFA, purchase, the Canada Council for the Arts'
Acquisition Assistance Program
and Harold Lawson Bequest
Image
Claire Beaugrand-Champagne (born in 1948)
Mrs. Thérèse MacGuire, Pine Avenue, Montreal (detail).
From the series "Old People”, 1974, print 2012.
Gelatin silver print, 12.5 x 17.4 cm
MMFA, gift of Claire Beaugrand-Champagne
Image
Geneviève Cadieux (born in 1955)
Untitled (Hand), 1997.
Gelatin silver print, artist’s proof 3/6, 57.3 x 50.4 cm
MMFA, gift of Jocelyne Poliquin and Jacques Bélanger
Image
Sorel Cohen (born in 1936)
The Shape of a Gesture, 1977.
Photomontage, 51 x 101.6 cm
MMFA, purchase, Saidye and 
Samuel Bronfman Collection of Canadian Art

Image

Nan Goldin (born in 1953)
''Joana's Back in the Doorway at 
the Châteauneuf-de-Gardagne, Avignon'', 2000.
Cibachrome print, 14/15, 100.6 x 68.5 cm (sight)
MMFA, purchase, the Museum Campaign 1988-1993 Fund
Image
Clara Gutsche (born in 1949)
Arles. From the series "Bedrooms". 2000.
Chromogenic print, 76 x 95 cm
In process of acquisition
© Clara Gutsche / SODRAC (2016)
Image
Janieta Eyre (born in 1966)
The Sisters Sophie and Sarah.
From the series "Motherhood", 2001.
Chromogenic print, 93 x 75.5 cm
MMFA, purchase, the Frothingham Bursary Fund
Image
Julie Moos (born in 1965)
Lilly and Scott , From the series "Domestics", 2001.
Chromogenic print, 102 x 132.5 cm
MMFA, anonymous gift in memory of Louise Cournoyer
Image
Laura Letinsky (born in 1962)
Untitled No. 48.
From the series "I did not remember I had forgotten", 2002, print 2007.
Chromogenic print, 9/15, 61 x 88.9 cm
MMFA, purchase, Horsley and Annie Townsend Bequest

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