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The Kiss from Regina

Stephen Borys, Director & CEO, exhibition curator

As I prepared for the trip to the MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina in July 2012 to secure loans for 100 Masters, the one work I knew I wanted to borrow was Auguste Rodin’s The Kiss, which was acquired by Norman MacKenzie in Paris shortly before the artist’s death. MacKenzie, who also purchased the Rodin bronze Eternal Spring, bequeathed his entire collection to the University of Saskatchewan in 1936, the gift forming the core collection of the gallery named in his honour.

As the Executive Director, Jeremy Morgan, was away during my visit, Bruce Anderson, the Collections Manager, took the time to assist with the selection. Head Curator Timothy Long had also proposed a number of works including the Edward Poitras, Traces: A Car, A Camera, A Tool, A Container, which was included in the artist’s installation at the 46th Venice Biennale in 1995.

The search for a Michael Snow painting happily concluded in Regina when I saw his Olympia from 1963. The large canvas, over three metres wide and in pristine condition, is an important early example of the artist’s Walking Woman series, and was a frontrunner on the MacKenzie’s list for the WAG exhibition.

Auguste Rodin, French, 1840–1917, The Kiss, 1900. Bronze, 69.6 x 38.7 x 43.2 cm. University of Regina Collection, Gift of Mr. Norman MacKenzie; 1916-5. Lent by: MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina

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