Tom Thomson (1877–1917) is indisputably Canada’s preeminent modern painter, and his catalytic achievement changed the face of Canadian painting forever. This exhibition will offer a close look at Thomson’s legacy, focusing on the small en plein air oil paintings, also know as oil sketches, of which he is the supreme master. An account fit for the twenty-first century, the exhibition and accompanying major publication will isolate particular moments of Thomson’s artistic experimentation, and incorporate assessments of his work by leading contemporary artists and writers, exploring Thomson’s evolving public persona as the quintessential outdoorsman, and considering his oeuvre within the framework of the international art of his time.
The fully illustrated colour catalogue will include essays by Ian Dejardin, Sarah Milroy, and Algonquin historian Christine McRae Luckasavitch, as well as appreciations by contemporary Canadian artists Ben Reeves, Sandra Meigs and Zachari Logan, all of whom are engaged with Thomson’s artistic legacy.
Organized by the McMichael Canadian Art Collection and the National Gallery of Canada
Curated by Ian Dejardin, Executive Director, and Sarah Milroy, Chief Curator, McMichael Canadian Art Collection.