Yesterday I had 10 minutes before my meeting at 4 pm and thought that is just enough time for a quick flaneur on the north-end of Calgary's 4th Street SW. The sun was radiant and it felt warm even thought the temperature was -15C.
It didn't take more than a minute for my first flaneur find - an artwork on the side of the K&W Audio building. I wish I knew sign language as I suspect there is a message here. A quick check of the 4th Street Public Art Society website didn't help as it looks like this fun work of art isn't part of their collection of sculptures. Guess I will have to do some more research. (A reader emailed me with a link to the Beltline website with the information. The sculpture is by Calgary artist Derek Besant, whose work has and is widely exhibited in Calgary and internationally. The five hands spell the word "DREAM" and was installed in 2003.)
Just a few steps away, I encountered a big bold bronze sculpture in front of Loch Gallery. I had seen this piece many times driving by, but never up close. There is an intriguing dichotomy with the bird-like helmet hiding the human head. The folded arms, combined with the shirt and tie give the piece an powerful businessman sensibility. Yet, the squatting position recalls an aboriginal or yoga posture. I had to go inside.
Immediately, I was presented with numerous Ivan Erye sculptures, paintings and drawings. However, what really caught my attention were not one, but two lush Jean Paul Riopelle paintings at the back of the gallery. These were not small studies for a major painting, they were the real deal - museum quality pieces.
While on the same day, the Glenbow was announcing they were going to focus more on being an art museum, here was a private gallery offering FREE viewing of two masterpieces of Canadian art.
It never stops amazing me how everyday, in just a few minutes, you can experience so much if you just slow down and look around.
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