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  • Writer's pictureL'équipe du MAJ

Theme 33 - Still Life

Among its masterpieces, the MAJ counts several "still lifes". Borduas' Green Grapes was the first work to be included to the museum's vast collection in 1943.

A still life is a grouping of objects, often foodstuffs, that are displayed in a defined setting. This artistic genre reminds us that everything comes to an end and that we will all die one day. Despite the not-so-happy theme, the works often depict ripe fruit or an attractive meal and this has the effect of creating a rather enticing painting.

DaveandJenn, A Forest Song, 2019. Photo: Toni Hafkenscheid, courtesy of BMO.

We were inspired by the exhibition A Forest Song by the artist duo DaveandJenn to choose this month's theme. This exhibition, presented from February 5 to April 24, 2022, consists of an installation that combines video, sculpture and painting. It transposes visitors into a lush environment filled with exotic plants and animals. If this environment immerses us in a soothing or reassuring experience, it also hides a more worrying discourse. Indeed, this work addresses "the beginnings of an economy based on the large-scale circulation of goods and an inequitable relationship between colony and metropolis as well as between animals and human beings."

DaveandJenn, A Forest Song, 2019. Photo: Toni Hafkenscheid, courtesy of BMO.

👉In the present call to creation, we invite you to think about still life paintings. What does it represent for you? How would you illustrate a still life? Does still life make you think about what is coming to an end? If so, how can you represent this ending? Can still life borrow from other techniques than painting? Can we represent at the same time our ideal of nature and the melancholy which reaches us when we think of this abused nature? What is your relationship to nature: idealistic, realistic, anxious?

To watch this month:

➔ The MAJ Education Team is cooking up its "family special" article for you. Don't forget to send us the results of your children's work for the online exhibit.

➔ An article by Nathalie Galego, Assistant Curator of Collections, who will tell us more about the still lifes in our collection.

➔ The return of the our podcast series called Spécialiste en la matière, with a special guest who will give us her take on the DaveandJenn exhibition.

➔ You're invited anytime to create onsite at the MAJ with your kids thanks to our Station à roulettes. It's full of self-serve creation materials and activity sheets. Come and discover it in our René Préville Family Educational Area (on the 2nd floor of the Museum). Many activities are described in great detail!

➔ If you're interested in the theme, be sure to visit the DaveandJenn's exhibition, A Forest Song, at the MAJ until April 14, 2022. There are also several still lifes in our permanent exhibition galleries, including Ozias Leduc's beautiful "Onions" and Borduas' "Green Grapes".

Happy creation!

This article was written by Camille Blachot, Communications and Digital Projects Coordinator, Musée d'art de Joliette.


You have until Monday, February 28 to send us your art creations inspired by the theme of the month. The exhibition will be online on Thursday, March 3, 2022.

Click here to learn how to participate.

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