Nicolas Baier (born in 1967), An Afternoon on De Gaspé, 2004.
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) invites the public to a contemplation in Of Individuals and Places: Photographs from the Lazare Collection. Bringing together more than 80 photographs by major Canadian and international artists, this exhibition underscores Montreal collector Jack Lazare’s 20-year passion for photography, which he has a desire to share with the public. It is also an opportunity to display a selection of photographs from a group of 33 artworks the collector generously gifted to the Museum in 2017.
A businessman specializing in the in the travel and music industries, and a member of the Acquisition Committee – International Art After 1900, Jack Lazare has been building up an outstanding collection of photographs – mainly contemporary – since the 1980s. The show reveals his sensitive eye and a particular love of eloquent images that give us food for thought.
Some of the images portray real or imaginary, private or anonymous places whose atmosphere and spirit the viewer can’t help but feel: the manufactured or urban landscapes of Edward Burtynsky and José Manuel Ballester, the mises-en-scene of Carlos and Jason Sanchez, the interiors of the Canadian Nicolas Baier, the Chinese artist Jiagang Chen and the Danish artist Trine Søndergaard. Those captured by Nicolas Dhervillers, Todd Hido, Astrid Kruse Jensen and Mark Ruwedel depict dreamlike spaces full of mystery, while those of Lee Friedlander, Saul Leiter, Danny Lyon, Sarah Moon, Larry Towell, Albert Watson and Laurence von der Weid tackle the subject of transition.
A fascinating gallery of portraits taken by Raymonde April, Chuck Close, Willie Doherty, Elliot Erwitt, Pascal Grandmaison, Angela Grauerholz, Patrick Faigenbaum, Isaac Julien, Richard Learoyd, Nelli Palomäki, Alexander Rodchenko and August Sander reveal states of mind. The photographs of Tina Barney, Nan Goldin, Adam Jeppesen, Aino Kannisto, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Hannah Starkey and Thomas Struth evoke in turn the feeling of loneliness and the complexity of human relationships.
(Photo courtesy of MMFA, gift of the Lazare family collection.)