May 22, 2012 Kleinburg, ON – The McMichael Canadian Art Collection will host a special reception on Wednesday, May 23 for the opening of the exhibition, The Last Harvest: Paintings by Rabindranath Tagore, in the presence of dignitary guests from India, as well as Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Michael Chan. Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) is beloved by Indians as a poet and writer. He was recognized around the world as the first non-European to be awarded a Nobel Prize for literature, yet few outside India know that he was also a highly regarded visual artist. The Last Harvest: Paintings by Rabindranath Tagore is the one-and-only Canadian showing, on display at the McMichael gallery from May 24 to July 15, 2012.
The exhibition is organized by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India and the National Gallery of Modern Art as part of the commemoration of the 150th Year Celebrations of Rabindranath Tagore, which involves a number of national and international programs, including showcasing Tagore’s paintings at select museums across the world from 2011 to 2012. The Last Harvest: Paintings by Rabindranath Tagore, curated by Professor Raman Siva Kumar of Visva-Bharati University, comprises more than sixty works on paper drawn from three collections in India. The exhibition has been presented in New York’s Asia Society Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago, with other versions being exhibited in Paris, Rome, London, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, and Berlin.
The exhibition will be inaugurated at the evening reception by H.E. Gavai, High Commissioner of India and the Premier of Ontario, the Honourable Dalton McGuinty. The event will be hosted by Upkar Arora, Chair of the McMichael Board of Trustees, and Ajit Khanna, Chair of Panorama India and the Tagore Anniversary Celebrations Committee, Toronto (TACCT). Dr. Victoria Dickenson, Executive Director of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, will also be present. Other distinguished guests for the evening will include Ms. Sangita Gairola, Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Government of India; Preeti Saran, Consul General of India; the Honourable Michael Chan, Ontario Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport; Professor Rajeev Lochan, Director, National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, India; Professor Raman Siva Kumar, Exhibition Curator, Visva-Bharati University, India; Kathleen M. O’Connell, Tagore Scholar, University of Toronto; the Honourable Harinder Takhar, Ontario Minister of Government Services; and the Honourable Maurizio Bevilacqua, Mayor of the City of Vaughan.
“The McGuinty Government is delighted that the McMichael Canadian Art Collection will host this exhibit for its only Canadian stop,” said Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “This exhibit offers Ontarians and visitors alike a rare opportunity to experience Tagore’s artistic achievement.”
The Canadian exhibition at the McMichael is presented in collaboration with Panorama India and TACCT. Panorama India, a non-profit umbrella organization that helps unite all Indo-Canadian cultural associations and groups in the GTA, provides a platform to exhibit and showcase arts and culture. “It brings us great pleasure to work with the McMichael in hosting this exhibition as we continue gaining greater recognition for Rabindranath Tagore’s work,” said Ajit Khanna, Chair, Panorama India. “The McMichael Canadian Art Collection is one of Canada’s leading cultural institutions and an ideal venue for the culmination of Tagore’s 150th anniversary celebrations, in the South Asian community and Canada.”
“We enthusiastically embrace the opportunity to celebrate Tagore with our local communities,” said Upkar Arora, Chair, McMichael Board of Trustees. “It is an honour to host this exhibition and we welcome and encourage everyone to visit the McMichael and experience the works and life of such a versatile and prolific artist, one who has been a great influence on both his native India, and on the world stage.”
“Rabindranath Tagore was an important influence on artists in the early decades of the twentieth century, when artists were exchanging ideas regarding theosophy and spiritualism,” said Victoria Dickenson, CEO. “During Tagore’s visit to Canada in 1929, he met with Fred Varley and Lawren S. Harris. It is very fitting that the Canadian exhibition will take place here, at the McMichael—we are delighted to renew that connection!”
About the McMichael Canadian Art Collection
The McMichael Canadian Art Collection is an agency of the Government of Ontario and acknowledges the support of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. It is the foremost venue in the country showcasing the Group of Seven and their contemporaries. In addition to touring exhibitions, its permanent collection consists of almost 6,000 artworks, including paintings by the Group of Seven and their contemporaries, First Nations and Inuit artists. The gallery is located at 10365 Islington Avenue, north of Major Mackenzie Drive in Kleinburg. For more information about the gallery, visit www.mcmichael.com.
More information: www.mcmichael.com/exhibitions
Michelle Kortinen, Communications Coordinator
McMichael Canadian Art Collection
905.893.1121 ext. 2210