HAMILTON.- Blood, Sweat and Tears: Labour in Art presents a singular subject of late 19th-century and early 20th-century European, Canadian, and American art labour and the labouring body, and their diverse artistic expression and meanings in a period of unprecedented change. Blood, Sweat and Tears embraces paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, and photographs created in the 100-year span between 1850 and 1950.
The exhibition features works from the AGHs permanent holdings, especially its major collection of early 20th-century Canadian art and the rich Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Collection of 19th-century European art, alongside important loans from other institutions in Canada. A special aspect of Blood, Sweat and Tears is the juxtaposition of works produced in different areas and produced by artists working in diverse styles and from unique perspectives, from idealized and nostalgic 19th-century representations of the peasantry to gritty 20th-century social realist views of the industrial worker. Artists represented include European painters associated with Realism and Impressionismfor example, Camille Pissarro, Jean-Louis Forain, and John Singer Sargent (American active in Europe); the major American work photographer Lewis Hine; Canadian artists such as William Blair Bruce, John Sloan, Maurice Cullen, and Yulia Biriukova; and two major European sculptors of the late 19th century for whom the labour theme was a central inspiration the Belgian Constantin Meunier and the French Jules Dalou.