"Polutropos of Many Turns" by Marcel Dzama. The mannequin on rotating base and costume (dress, socks, mask) and wood is exhibited at Musee d'Art Contemporain in Montreal.

This revolution will last until the end of April.

Musee d'Art Contemporain currently highlights works from Marcel Dzama, Etienne Zach and Luanne Martineau, three Canadian artists who explore early modernism military themes, playful large-format oils and felt- and fabric-made abstracts, respectively.

First up, a visit to any Musee d'Art Contemporain gallery space always comes with a bit of artistic anticipation. When introduced to the initial display of 60 pieces that highlight Dzama's exhibition titled "Of Many Turns," the anticipation is heightened one step further. The reason: Walk behind the black fabric curtain. Then walk toward the light.

Upon entering a darkened gallery space, visitors will see six of Dzama's recent installations strategically spot-lit to provide moody focal points from which the eye simply cannot turn away. A number of themes are explored. "On the Banks of the Red River" is a duck hunt gone awry complete with 1-foot-tall gun-toting figurines and downed animal carcasses; "Room Full of Liars" features a half-dozen nightmare-inducing Pinocchio-nosed, red-dressed dolls; and ghostly apparitions hide in a separate room behind a brick-framed wooden barn door in "Even the Ghost of the Past." The peephole. Don't forget to peep through the peephole.


Dzama also explores a number of military themes using a variety of media. White plaster takes center stage with sculptures of Minotaurs with machine guns and a cleanly-dissected torso accented with the perfect stylized shade of vibrant lipstick-red blood. Watercolors in muted shades of deep reds, military grays and dirty browns showcase often hooded high-stepping subjects. In "Polytropos of Many Turns," a life-size female terrorist silhouette pirouettes atop a motorized base. She sports a red hood and brandishes a rifle above her head.

As for the life-size brown bear costume nearby, that's a puzzle for anyone.

Next is a collection of 22 colorful, playful and fantastical large-format oil paintings produced by Montreal artist and Quebec Triennial alum Etienne Zack.

Zack travels near and far — from his artist's studio to mind's vivid imagination — to portray a variety of subjects. For instance, "Spills in a Safe Environment" offers a look at the chaotic mess of an artist's desk, while "Duplicat," a painting-within-a-painting, takes inspiration from a colorful kaleidoscopic area rug. Cardboard boxes, cluttered spaces and foam building insulation get proper due, too, in "Supply and Demand," "Methods" and "Squeal Puff," respectively. A bullet to the head even gets explored in "Thorough."

Stay awhile for these as each canvas offers lots to explore.


Rounding out the visit of temporary exhibitions is a dozen felt, fabric and Japanese paper-made abstract works full of fine stitching and soft plush shapes created by Luanne Martineau.

The trio continues through April 25.

Also on display are two exhibits that highlight works from the museum's permanent collections. Seven recently received donations — Major Gifts — include works by Anselm Keifer, the German-born artist who explores themes of the horrors of the Holocaust; and "Cubes, Blocks and Other Spaces," a collection of some three dozen eye-catching and eclectic works that explore "urban, architectural and media frameworks." Both continue through April 5.

Musee d'Art Contemporain is at 185 Ste. Catherine St. W. (Metro station Place des Arts). Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday; until 9 p.m. Wednesday evenings. Admission costs $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $6 for students up to age 30 with ID and free for children 12 and under. Free admission is available from 5 to 9 p.m. all Wednesday evenings. For more information, call (514) 847-6226 or visit www.macm.org.

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