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October 2017


October 7, 2017 - January 21, 2018


This major retrospective celebrates Alex Janvier’s lifetime of creativity, knowledge and perspective, gained through his love of the land, art and Dene culture. Exploring his 65-year career through more than 100 remarkable paintings and drawings, it is the largest and most comprehensive retrospective on the artist to date.

September 2017


September 2, 2017 - February 11, 2018

Annie Pootoogook: Cutting Ice

Cutting Ice is a term that implies something that matters or has consequence. Dr. Nancy Campbell, acting as lead curator, will take a community approach to this project with a range of individuals from Cape Dorset who knew the artist. Dr. Campbell’s curatorial expertise will lend new insights to our understanding of Annie Pootoogook’s work and will enliven the many voices from the community that she has come to know well. This exhibition celebrates the strength and contemporaneity of Pootoogook’s work but also uncovers how it has influenced her peers. Alongside works by Pootoogook, this exhibition will include works of art by Shuvinai Ashoona, Itee Pootoogook, Jutai Toonoo, Ohotaq Mikkigak and Siassie Kenneally, showing how Annie Pootoogook made it possible to begin a different conversation that celebrates Inuit art in new ways in Canada and the world.

July 2017


Consider this exhibition to be a love letter to Tom Thomson and Canada – two subjects at the core of the 2017-year as we celebrate Canada’s 150th year and the centenary of Thomson’s death. Passion Over Reason will take a critical approach to our fascination with Thomson and show how today’s current culture of hipster or lumbersexual fashion, as well as cultivation of outsider creed, has confirmed what Wieland pointed to in the 1970s: Thomson is Canada. This exhibition will also allow for an account of feminist approaches to the topic of Canada in art then and now.

March 2017


March 11, 2017 - August 20, 2017

Steve Driscoll + Finn O’Hara: Size Matters

A Primary Exhibition organized by the McMichael Canadian Art Collection for Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival
Size Matters brings together the work of painter Steve Driscoll and photographer Finn O’Hara for their first-ever exhibition at a public art gallery.
These Toronto-based artists face a dichotomy familiar to many Millennials: urban lifestyles combined with a love for the outdoors. Their work is a creative response to the need for a sense of scale.


March 10, 2017 - August 20, 2017

Morrisseau at the McMichael

In July 1979, the McMichael was honoured to host Norval Morrisseau as artist-in-residence. For three weeks, Morrisseau worked in the Tom Thomson Shack where visitors could engage with the artist and see his painting process. He worked on sixteen paintings which were commissioned by the McMichael.

February 2017


To , truth is given through oral tradition, mysticism, intuition, all cognition, not simply by observation and measurement of physical phenomena. To them, the ocularly visible apparition is not nearly as common as the purely auditory one; hearer would be a better term than seer for their holy men. ‐‐ Edmund Carpenter and Marshall McLuhan, Acoustic Space


Lawren Harris sought greater and greater heights as his career progressed; from mountains to states of mind, he aimed to go higher. This iconic Canadian landscape painter took a seemingly unexpected turn toward abstract art in 1934 – the year in which he moved to the United States, where he remained until 1940. Higher States frames Harris in the larger North American context during his years in New Hampshire and New Mexico, and features an important presentation of his US counterparts, including Georgia O’Keeffe, Arthur Dove, and Marsden Hartley. Guest curators Dr. Roald Nasgaard and Gwendolyn Owens investigate the evolution of Harris’s painting from landscape to abstraction and demonstrate his integral role in cross-border artistic developments.

December 2016


December 17, 2016 - September 4, 2017

Lawren Harris: Leaps and Bounds

The leading member of the Group of Seven, Lawren S. Harris has become one of the most recognizable figures in landscape painting in Canada. A lesser known side of Harris’s story is that he spent the second half of his career as an abstract painter.

September 2016


September 21, 2016 - May 7, 2017

Once Upon a Time, Deep in the Dark Forest

In the landscape art of the Group of Seven, the viewer has been conditioned to recognize the picturesque beauty of the Canadian forest. Fierce, strong, and often unspoiled, it reflected a sense of character for a developing nation. This exhibition, however, presents historical and contemporary art—including those of the Group and their associates—that suggests the forest is no symbol of glory; it is where beauty, mystery, fantasy, and darkness collide.


September 12, 2016 - April 17, 2017

Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven: Destinations  

Many of the wilderness landscapes depicted in artworks by Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven were interpretations serving as symbols or metaphors of place. However, writers who positioned and promoted Thomson’s and the Group of Seven’s work within a geographical and Canadian nation-building narrative, created a sense of authenticity while aligning their imagery with political as well as commercial interests.

June 2016


June 4, 2016 - January 8, 2017

Wounds of War

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.


June 4, 2016 - January 8, 2017

Needles and Pins

Colleen Heslin’s paintings resonate with the tension of material and gestural complexity. The artist hand-dyes cotton and linen in small batches, and hangs them to dry, which develops residual surface textures. The stained fabric is then cut and pieced together – similar to quilt-making construction.


June 4, 2016 - February 20, 2017

In Studio: Jack Bush

The Ontario premiere of Jack Bush: In Studio at the McMichael will be the first solo exhibition of the artist’s work in a major public gallery in the vicinity of Toronto since the early 1980s. In the most classic sense, the word studio is defined as “room for study.” This exhibition was conceived as an opportunity to gather 20 select paintings in a new space with the aim to spark study.

March 2016


March 1, 2016 - September 30, 2016

Field Trip: Sarah Anne Johnson

This exhibition featured recent photographic work by internationally acclaimed multidisciplinary artist Sarah Anne Johnson (born 1976). Field Trip was inspired by the artist’s fascination with outdoor music festivals. Johnson first attended an outdoor festival at age sixteen, becoming immediately attracted to its dynamic and pleasure-seeking lifestyle which represented a rite-of-passage for her and many other young people.

February 2016


February 6, 2016 - May 1, 2016

On Paper

Most great works of art begin with a drawing: ideas come out on paper first. There is a degree of intimacy and immediacy that is inherent with works on paper, and this exhibition celebrated these qualities. On Paper was on view for a limited time only, since light exposure must be kept to a minimum to ensure the conservation of the artworks.

November 2015


The McMichael owes its existence and collection to the generosity of donors. A Foundation for Fifty Years will present some of the most significant donations made for the McMichael gallery’s founding year, 1966, by Signe and Robert McMichael, as well as their peers, who were all excited to make Canadian masterworks a gift to the public of Ontario. Installed in the McMichael’s principle gallery on the ground floor, this collection of masterworks celebrates our core artists - the Group of Seven and their contemporaries.

October 2015


October 3, 2015 - January 1, 2016

This House Was Made For Christmas

This House Was Made for Christmas celebrated the art of Christmas greetings with a display of Christmas cards designed by seminal Canadian artists of the twentieth century.


October 1, 2015 - May 31, 2016

For Every Season

"The breath of the Four Seasons must ever be our basic inspiration." — J.E.H. MacDonald, A Landmark of Canadian Art (1917) Canada is celebrated for its four beautiful and distinct seasons, which have especially inspired our landscape painters.

September 2015


Since its foundational gift from Robert and Signe McMichael, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection has been committed to celebrating the stories of private collectors.

June 2015


Journey into Fantasy - in Inuktitut, Ingirrajut Isumaginnguaqtaminnut - featured the work of Inuk artist Pudlo Pudlat and celebrated the one-year mark for the collaboration with York University in Mobilizing Inuit Cultural Heritage (MICH).

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