Oh, Canada catalogue cover
featuring Cheerleading Pyramid by Sarah Anne Johnson
image credit: Maclean's

We've blogged about Denise Markonish's ecstatically sprawling Canadian exhibition before, but its equally comprehensive catalogue deserves a post all of its own.

The 400-page catalogue, published by MIT Press, is refreshingly conceived of. Though Markonish's own introductory essay clocks in at a whopping 38 pages, nowhere can be found the verbose "artspeak" of our academic climate. Instead, the catalogue takes its readers on a vibrant, spirited journey that is compiled more like Lonely Planet guide than a gallery publication. Organized regionally, it is packed with charming anecdotes, a light Canadian art history primer, fiction, essays, artist-to-artist interviews, and a satisfying density of photographs -- more than enough to make anyone living outside of our borders fall hard for the magic, clarity, darkness, and good humour of the Canadian creative spirit.

If you're as keen on this book as we are, you can cop it from your local bookstore (might we suggest Oscar's Art Books?), Amazon.ca, or the Mass MOCA website for $49.95.

Read more: Oh, Canada: Mass MOCA's One-of-a-Kind Exhibition Catalogue