On June 3, 1916, a massive explosion wounded A. Y. Jackson during the Battle of Mount Sorrel, one of the toughest and most tragic of the Canadian First World War battles. The event changed Jackson’s life and transformed his art.
On June 4, 2016, marking 100 years and 1 day from the time of Jackson’s wounding, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection will open an innovative new exhibition about A.Y. Jackson and Tom Thomson. Visitors will see Jackson’s only three known original drawings from his time as a soldier, on view for the first time since they were drawn in the heat of battle.
Drawing on the McMichael’s extensive holdings of both artists’ wartime art and on loans from important public and private collections, this exhibition focuses on the year in which Jackson and Thomson painted together and shared a studio, their different responses to war, their wartime art, Jackson’s work as an official war artist, and his post-war commemorative paintings. Although Jackson and Thomson never saw each other again after 1914, each reflects the art and influence of the other over the course of the following years. After Thomson’s death in 1917, Jackson had seen hundreds of Thomson’s paintings and this influence, as well as the impact of the loss of his friend, comes through in Jackson’s work completed after 1918.
Guest Curator: Laura Brandon