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What's This? Understanding Contemporary Art

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An introduction to the richness and diversity of the National Gallery of Canada's contemporary art collection, this video features works by Canadian and international artists from the 1970s through to the present. What's This? Understanding Contemporary Art is organized into nine sections and highlights paintings, sculptures, installations and photographs. Beginning with the question "What is contemporary art?" the video addresses fundamental questions about contemporary art: Why does it look so simple? How should we look at it? This video provides personal insights into why artists create and looks at the wide range of materials they use and the effects that photography and new technologies have on their work. What's This? also examines the role that language and history have played in shaping the art of Canada's First Nations.

1996, 28 min 35 s