9113297

Visual arts: Private collections are the stuff of dreams

9113297

Visual arts: Private collections are the stuff of dreams

John Pohl

At the high end of the art-collection world are pieces so large that they are never displayed in the collector’s home. They are put into storage and only see the light of a gallery space when a museum borrows them for an exhibition.

A few such pieces are in Science of Dreams, an exhibition in the museum-size space of Arsenal Contemporary Art that is drawn from two private collections.

Jean-François Bélisle, director of the Arsenal, said most of the pieces reflect a small portion of François Odermatt’s collection. The rest come from an unnamed private collector from Europe who came to Montreal to get his first look at an uncrated and assembled piece since purchasing it.

Bélisle said he saw a theme of dreams emerge as he perused the two collections, and took the name of the exhibition from the opening lines of a 2006 movie, The Science of Sleep.

“The concept is opposed to surrealism, which is about minds and emotions being outside social constraints,” he said. “This show, like the movie, is very structured.”

The dreams in this exhibition refer to concrete things, like the social history of the AIDS epidemic, which inspired the French artist Jean-Michel Othoniel to make Mon lit, a steel and aluminum bed with an extravagant canopy decorated with blown Murano glass. The glass pieces are a memorial to Othionel’s friends who died of AIDS in the 1980s, Bélisle said

Complete article: www.montrealgazette.com