This catalogue has been published on the occasion of Remai Modern’s inaugural exhibition, Field Guide on view at the museum October 21, 2017 – Feburary 25, 2018. Copyright, Remai Modern 2017. 96 pages, softcover, ISBN 9781896359892
Remai Modern’s inaugural exhibition animates the entire museum with a spirit of active engagement, curiosity and disruption. Presenting a series of singular positions and coherent groupings of works, Field Guide introduces the museum’s program philosophy and direction. Works from the permanent collection are placed in dialogue with contemporary projects, commissioned pieces and immersive installations. Through an open framework, Field Guide invites consideration of a network of issues and questions impacting art and society today.
Featuring leading artists from Saskatchewan, Canada, and the world, Field Guide rethinks the idea of “modern” from multiple cultural, geographic, historic and contemporary perspectives. Legacies play an important role and act as a formative nucleus for the exhibition—both the legacy of modernism and that of our predecessor the Mendel Art Gallery, from which Remai Modern inherited a collection of nearly 8,000 works. Field Guide also signals the start of a new chapter, debuting many key acquisitions that speak to the aspirations and future growth of the collection.
Several major projects anchor the exhibition, and propose new social, personal and political engagements with the museum and its audiences. Determined by the river, a collaborative installation and discursive event by Tanya Lukin Linklater and Duane Linklater, assembles a physical and conceptual vessel to carry or hold Indigenous ideas, histories, objects and forms. Faces of Picasso: the collection selected by Ryan Gander, debuts Remai Modern’s collection of linocut prints by Pablo Picasso—the most comprehensive in the world—curated by Ryan Gander with a focus on portraiture, as a means to contemplate self-projection and self-image. Beginning in January 2018, Thomas Hirschhorn will produce an immersive project, What I can learn from you. What you can learn from me. (Critical Workshop).—the artist’s first “Presence and Production” work realized in Canada.
In combination with a film series, and live and artist-driven programming, Field Guide introduces the framework through which Remai Modern enters into dialogue with its local, national and international audiences. The exhibition posits a series of questions about the urgencies of the contemporary moment, the societal roles of art and artists, and the responsibilities of museums. Echoing throughout the exhibition, these themes invite visitors to contemplate answers and to pose questions of their own about the future and the potential of Remai Modern. Field Guide invites everyone to actively participate in the artistic process.
Field Guide is curated by Gregory Burke, Executive Director & CEO, and Sandra Guimarães, Director of Programs & Chief Curator.