Emily Carr

100 Masters @ WAG (until September)

I was simultaneously overjoyed, and disappointed with this exhibition. On one hand, it was very exciting to see the pieces, curated from galleries across North America, showcasing major and influential Canadian artists alongside the world's masters. The innovation of someone like Emily Carr  stood out like a beacon, and the piece by Wanda Koop was oustanding, pulling focus in the room.

At the same time, and perhaps only because I have been lucky enough to see the famous works by many of the international painters, I was left feeling disappointed in the selection for those artists. I actually said aloud "why would they choose that Gainsborough", and although the Monet was lovely, it paled in comparison to some of his more infamous work. Granted the VanGogh was every bit the energy-filled frenetic canvas that his work is, and the Matisse was outstanding.

In a way it almost felt as if the less exciting works were selected to help the Canadian artists stand out more. Disappointing, because the Carr, Koop, and Thompson would have shone regardless.

I suppose that my overall assessment is that if you haven't been lucky enough to visit the world's major galleries, then this will be a fantastic exhibition, providing an excellent opportunity to see many masters and learn more about Canadian artists in the context of the world scene. If you have, then you may not find it as engaging.