Skip to contentSkip to navigation
Become a Member
Explore today's schedule
Visit MMFA for free by becoming a Member
Learn more
Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun (born in 1957), Pollycolour, 2014
Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun (born in 1957), Pollycolour, 2014
From December 4, 2019 to March 29, 2020

"For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you"

Selections from The Bailey Collection

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) is opening its doors to a selection of artworks from the remarkable art collection of Ontario philanthropist, collector and patron W. Bruce C. Bailey. The exhibition “For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you” brings together a selection of over 100 paintings, photographs, works on paper, and sculptures spanning vastly different time periods and cultures, drawn from his extraordinary collection. These works encourage visitors to consider how art can reflect a unique sensibility and simultaneously unearth shared commonalities, inviting us to better understand difference.

W. Bruce C. Bailey’s collection

This exhibition draws its title from Walt Whitman’s celebrated poem Song of Myself (1855). Like this poem, W. Bruce C. Bailey’s collection is both the expression of a unique sensibility and a reflection of the universality of human experience.

Started in 1975, this collection stands out through its interest in the Other. The collector is strongly attracted to works that deal with the meaning of “being human” and with good, evil, beauty, sadness, neglect and ugliness in humanity. The dichotomies of life/death, black/white, good/bad and love/hate reflect, in his opinion, all facets of the human condition.

Bruce Bailey. Photo Erin Simkin
Credit
Marina Abramovic (born in 1946), Portrait with Falcon, 2011, color photograph pigment print, edition 2/25. © Marina Abramovic / SOCAN (2019). Photo Joseph Hartman.

Marina Abramovic (born in 1946), Portrait with Falcon, 2011, color photograph pigment print, edition 2/25. © Marina Abramovic / SOCAN (2019). Photo Joseph Hartman.

Beau Dick (1955-2017), Bukwus (Kwakwaka’wakw Mask), 2012, cedar, cedar bark, paint, aluminium, copper, horse hair. Photo Joseph Hartman.

Beau Dick (1955-2017), Bukwus (Kwakwaka’wakw Mask), 2012, cedar, cedar bark, paint, aluminium, copper, horse hair. Photo Joseph Hartman.

Kim Dorland (born in 1974), Exhaustion, 2015, oil and acrylic on canvas. Photo Joseph Hartman.

Kim Dorland (born in 1974), Exhaustion, 2015, oil and acrylic on canvas. Photo Joseph Hartman.

Paterson Ewen (1925-2002), Right Angle Tree, 1977, acrylic and metal on gouged plywood. © Mary Alison Handford. Photo Joseph Hartman.

Paterson Ewen (1925-2002), Right Angle Tree, 1977, acrylic and metal on gouged plywood. © Mary Alison Handford. Photo Joseph Hartman.

Kerry James Marshall (born in 1955), Portrait of John Punch (Angry Black Man 1646), 2008, acrylic on PVC. © Kerry James Marshall. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

Kerry James Marshall (born in 1955), Portrait of John Punch (Angry Black Man 1646), 2008, acrylic on PVC. © Kerry James Marshall. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

Paterson Ewen (1925-2002), Comet, 1970s and 1980s, acrylic on gouged plywood. © Mary Alison Handford. Photo Joseph Hartman.

Paterson Ewen (1925-2002), Comet, 1970s and 1980s, acrylic on gouged plywood. © Mary Alison Handford. Photo Joseph Hartman.

Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun (born in 1957), Super Predators: The One Percent, 2015, acrylic on canvas. Photo Joseph Hartman.

Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun (born in 1957), Super Predators: The One Percent, 2015, acrylic on canvas. Photo Joseph Hartman.

Encourage reflection on identity

The works are loosely grouped according to broad themes that encourage reflection on identity – on who we are, and on what it is that makes us uniquely human. A single wall devoted to “Love, touch, and the human body” asks viewers to establish their own intuitive connections between disparate images of faces, hands, and bodies – sometimes coming together, and at others breaking apart. Works that deal with the theme of “Place,” whether they depict the Canadian wilderness, a blazing comet in the sky, or domestic interiors, prompt us to consider the links between who we are and where we come from.

Lastly, under the theme of “Tragedy and Transcendence,” works like Goya’s searing series The Disasters of War (1810-1820) and Otto Dix’s The War *(1924) are coupled with prints by Dürer, Rembrandt and Mantegna that together force a coming to terms with the power of humanity to transcend its own brutality. “Indeed no other species on the planet has the capacity to love so deeply and to wound so profoundly*,” adds Mary-Dailey Desmarais.

Paterson Ewen (1925-2002), Forked Lightning, 1971, acrylic, canvas, linoleum, and metal on gouged plywood. © Mary Alison Handford. Photo Joseph Hartman.
Credit

Catalogue

A hard cover catalogue of the exhibition will be published by the Museum’s Publishing Department in 2020 with essays by Nathalie Bondil, Mary-Dailey Desmarais, Hilliard T. Goldfarb, Senior Curator – Collections and Curator of Old Masters, MBAM, and Massimiliano Gioni, artistic director, New Museum, New York.

Credits and Curator

An exhibition organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in collaboration with W. Bruce C. Bailey. Curator: Mary-Dailey Desmarais, Curator of International Modern and Contemporary Art, MMFA.

“For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you”, Walt Whitman, “Song of Myself,” in Leaves of Grass, 1855

This exhibition was made possible thanks to the invaluable support of W. Bruce C. Bailey, collector, major donor and exceptional friend of the Museum family.

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts logo
Official suppliers
Air Canada
Denalt
MMFA Young Philanthropists' Circle logo
Conseil des arts de Montréal
Canada Council for the Arts
Gouvernement du Québec
Bruce Bailey. Photo Erin Simkin

Bruce Bailey. Photo Erin Simkin

Marina Abramovic (born in 1946), Portrait with Falcon, 2011, color photograph pigment print, edition 2/25. © Marina Abramovic / SOCAN (2019). Photo Joseph Hartman.

Marina Abramovic (born in 1946), Portrait with Falcon, 2011, color photograph pigment print, edition 2/25. © Marina Abramovic / SOCAN (2019). Photo Joseph Hartman.

Beau Dick (1955-2017), Bukwus (Kwakwaka’wakw Mask), 2012, cedar, cedar bark, paint, aluminium, copper, horse hair. Photo Joseph Hartman.

Beau Dick (1955-2017), Bukwus (Kwakwaka’wakw Mask), 2012, cedar, cedar bark, paint, aluminium, copper, horse hair. Photo Joseph Hartman.

Kim Dorland (born in 1974), Exhaustion, 2015, oil and acrylic on canvas. Photo Joseph Hartman.

Kim Dorland (born in 1974), Exhaustion, 2015, oil and acrylic on canvas. Photo Joseph Hartman.

Paterson Ewen (1925-2002), Right Angle Tree, 1977, acrylic and metal on gouged plywood. © Mary Alison Handford. Photo Joseph Hartman.

Paterson Ewen (1925-2002), Right Angle Tree, 1977, acrylic and metal on gouged plywood. © Mary Alison Handford. Photo Joseph Hartman.

Kerry James Marshall (born in 1955), Portrait of John Punch (Angry Black Man 1646), 2008, acrylic on PVC. © Kerry James Marshall. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

Kerry James Marshall (born in 1955), Portrait of John Punch (Angry Black Man 1646), 2008, acrylic on PVC. © Kerry James Marshall. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

Paterson Ewen (1925-2002), Comet, 1970s and 1980s, acrylic on gouged plywood. © Mary Alison Handford. Photo Joseph Hartman.

Paterson Ewen (1925-2002), Comet, 1970s and 1980s, acrylic on gouged plywood. © Mary Alison Handford. Photo Joseph Hartman.

Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun (born in 1957), Super Predators: The One Percent, 2015, acrylic on canvas. Photo Joseph Hartman.

Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun (born in 1957), Super Predators: The One Percent, 2015, acrylic on canvas. Photo Joseph Hartman.

Paterson Ewen (1925-2002), Forked Lightning, 1971, acrylic, canvas, linoleum, and metal on gouged plywood. © Mary Alison Handford. Photo Joseph Hartman.

Paterson Ewen (1925-2002), Forked Lightning, 1971, acrylic, canvas, linoleum, and metal on gouged plywood. © Mary Alison Handford. Photo Joseph Hartman.

Add a touch of culture to your inbox
Subscribe to the Museum newsletter

Bourgie Hall Newsletter sign up

This website uses cookies in order to optimize your browsing experience and for promotional purposes. To learn more, please see our policy on the protection of personal Iinformation