Montréal People: At an exhibition

On a cold, sleety afternoon (snow on April 15!), Marina, Diane and I went to the exhibition of the Scottish painter Peter Doig at the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts; if you live in striking range, go to be drenched by colour, moved by mystery and transported by his remarkable vision. You can see more of his work,exclusive articles and notices of upcoming exhibitions at

Peter Doig, Grand Rivière
And, museums are prime people-watching spots, so let's look! We were still in the grip of frigid weather so you will see few spring ensembles, but, typical of the city, plenty of verve.

I was struck by how much red the crowd wore. Below, a big bag and plump scarf lifted all-black:

Red also showed up in a fire-engine hue, which she wore beautifully, with a short classic black blazer and elegant boots:

A black jacket and long paisley scarf: great way to wear a big rectangular piece if you don't need to swaddle your neck:

But one woman courted spring in a light, flower-sprigged skirt below her black jacket, playing with mood and texture. Her friend wore a Montréal uniform, the big wrapped muffler:

Marina in one of her several newsboy caps, which has tiny sparkles woven into the tweed, and a dark-red sweater:

A marinière, ideal transitional piece—and can you see the little ruffled little hem?

I loved the body language of this kilted schoolgirl in her tartan vest and flower-patterned boots:

And also that of the young lovers, always a sweet sight but especially endearing in a museum:


 Diane wore an olive fatigue jacket...

...and if she looks happy here, she was even more so after we introduced her to Shanghai-style soup dumplings after the show!


Madame Là-bas said…
Red and navy or black are very popular in Paris right now. People watching at galleries is almost as much fun as the exposition itself. You have a lot of interesting art in Montréal.
Susan B said…
What a stylish sampling! And the exhibit looks wonderful too. I think the gentleman next to Mme Red Pants has a Balenciaga messenger slung over his shoulder. Seeing this has settled my choice of a third scarf for our it is!
materfamilias said…
Even without the style survey, this seems a perfect day: girlfriends, wonderful art, and fabulous food to discuss the art over afterwards!
Anonymous said…
Always fun, looking at people looking at paintings...

I rarely wear any red warmer than cranberry, but last month, when I saw a deeply discounted handbag of softest coral-red lambskin, I just had to have it. After our long winter, it gave me and my blue-gray clothes an immediate lift. And when I took it with me to sunnier places, I painted my toenails to match!

frugalscholar said…
We just got back from a week in Chicago, where we spent many, many blissful hours art-watching and people-watching at the great Art Institute. As often happens, some people put themselves on display, turning their backs on the artwork to face the viewers!
You have been able to capture quite the range of people at the exhibition...I am curious if you snapped the images secretly or did you ask permission to take the pictures.
It is something that I have wrestled with not knowing if there are any rules around this.
Peter has captured the wet green ambiance of Scotland in that first sounds like you and your friends had a wonderful day.
Duchesse said…
Mme: We do; this is the first major exhibition of Peter Doig in North America, in partnership with the National Galleries of Scotland.

pseu: He was very modish too; I noticed the bag but did not know who made it.

C.: Oh that is one of my favourite colours and not easy to find- lucky you!

materfamilias: And even more enjoyable that Marina is an artist who added to our enjoyment via her knowledge of painting technique.

frugal: One of my favourite childhood haunts; a treat to be taken by my mother, when we visited my parents' families.

hostess: I have complied with the law in this province and suggest you check it for yours; it differs by province.

The painting is of Trinidad, where Doig lives currently and where he also spent some of his childhood.

Anonymous said…
Lovely post! I think I'd have a hard time focusing on the art.....such stylish and interesting people watching. Looks like a wonderful exhibit.
Cathy Wong
Francie Newcomb said…
What a lovely day. I hope we can see some Peter Doig paintings in the UK in August. Thank you, I had not heard of him.

Eleanorjane said…
Hmm... soup dumplings, one of my favourites! I was thrilled to accidentally order them when we were in Singapore recently (the menu didn't hint that they were soup dumplings, just pork and shrimp).

As for the clothes, some nice outfits, but they still look quite wintery to me. I'm glad it's warming up enough for springy outfits in England (most days).
Duchesse said…
Eleanorjane: That was a frigid day with sleet, part of this year's endless winter. It's still not far above freezing.
Eleanorjane, yes, it has been horribly cold; worst winter in decades. Alas I missed that exhibition as I had the flu when my friends and I had planned to go. Milder now but still not fully springlike; a few brave flowers are springing up.

I attended the launch of a media project I had worked on (along with many other people) about a week later, at the same museum, and the weather was far more clement, but almost nonstop black among the attendees. It was a more formal occasion.

Duchesse, did you buy the poster? I loved the painting, but hesitated, because of all the "sponsors" at the foot.
Duchesse said…
lagatta: No, did not buy; too cluttered with text and logos.
Mardel said…
Oh how nice to see the Peter Doig! And even better to share it with friends and good food. It sounds like a wonderful day.
diverchic said…
Charming photos!

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