BMO Bank of Montreal
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BMO Bank of Montreal

March 21, 2011 22:22 ET

BMO Donates Major Rodney Graham Art Installation to Vancouver Art Gallery

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - March 21, 2011) -

Editors Note: There are 2 photos included with this release.

To mark the occasion of its Annual Meeting of shareholders in Vancouver tomorrow, BMO Financial Group today donated a major piece of art by internationally renowned Vancouver-based artist Rodney Graham to the Vancouver Art Gallery.

"Supporting arts and culture is one of the ways we at BMO are trying to build strong healthy and civil communities and a more prosperous and resilient society," said Bill Downe, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Rodney Graham has achieved great success at home and abroad. This gift is made in recognition of the people of British Columbia, whom we have been privileged to serve for nearly 125 years.

"Each year, the BMO 1st Art! Invitational Student Art Competition celebrates the creative excellence of art students at post-secondary institutions across Canada," added Mr. Downe. "One day, we may help discover the next Rodney Graham."

"We are absolutely thrilled that BMO has so generously donated this important artwork by internationally renowned Vancouver artist Rodney Graham, whose work is collected and held by major arts institutions and collectors around the world," said Kathleen Bartels, Director of the Vancouver Art Gallery. "Thanks to the tremendous generosity and vision of BMO and other major donors of art, the Gallery's permanent collection of more than 10,000 works of art continues to grow, which is vital for our future." 

Artist's Model Posing for "The Old Bugler, Among the Fallen, Battle of Beaune-Roland, 1870" in the Studio of an Unknown Military Painter, Paris, 1885 (2009), which measures 182 x 248 x 18 cm, was inspired by an image Graham found depicting the 19th century French military painter Alphonse de Neuville in his Paris studio, with a model in the uniform of the French National Guard lying prone on the floor.

In this image, Graham takes on the role of the model, surrounded with props in an opulent studio, his head supported by an overturned stool in comically theatrical manner. Here Graham evokes the complex set of relations French painters ― both avant garde and academic ― had of the disastrous Franco-Prussian War.

A number of young artists, including the impressionist painter Jean Frederic Bazille, were killed in the Battle of Beaune-Roland, and de Neuville built a very successful career on his ability to heroically portray aspects of the war. This work is an outstanding example of Graham's rigorously intellectual practice which examines social and philosophical systems of thought, particularly those related to the transition from Enlightenment to Modernism. 

To view the photos associated with this press release, please visit the following links:

http://www.marketwire.com/library/20110321-abmo800.jpg

http://www.marketwire.com/library/20110321-bbmo800.jpg

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