About Time

September 2nd, 2023 – February 18th, 2024

Eric Goldberg (1890 – 1969), Summer Evening, c. 1965, oil on masonite. Purchase, 1990.

Time can be saved, wasted, and lost, but not stopped. We can have all the time in the world yet no time at all. Time as a concept is one of the great mysteries of the world. It is defined as the continued sequence of existence and events in the past, present, and future. Generally speaking, it measures duration; in more philosophical terms it is debated as being either linear or cyclical; and in science, the modern understanding of time is based on Einstein’s theory of relativity. This exhibition explores how artists have marked the passage of time through seasons and hours, aging, captured moments, and referencing the past.

Art can be a reflection of our times—it has the power to express and capture moments through light, colour, subject, or social commentary on contemporary issues. The RMG is dedicated to collecting with intention in order to reflect the diverse voices and contemporary issues that make up the continuing story of Canadian art. Since 1967, the gallery’s Permanent Collection of over 4,700 artworks has evolved through the acquisition of new artwork and the exploration of different themes and topics through exhibitions. Featuring a variety of works from the Permanent Collection, this exhibition reflects on the inevitable passing of time and the lessons we can learn from the past.

This exhibition is supported by: