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Marie-Claire Blais: Veils
Marie-Claire Blais (b. 1974, Lévis) is a leading light of contemporary art in Montreal, yet until now her work has not been presented in a major Canadian museum. Blais extends the language of abstraction into the contemporary movement, painting on canvas and then cutting, shredding and unraveling the painting surface to produce subtle works that hover between sculpture and painting.
Rita Letendre: Earth, Wind & Fire
Rita Letendre turned 90 this fall, and she remains one of the leading abstract artists in Canada, and a legendary icon for women artists. She is best known for her hard-edge abstract works from the 60s and 70s, some of which were presented as epic wall murals in public locations in Toronto.
This retrospective exhibition highlights the key role of artist Françoise Sullivan in the history of modern and contemporary art in Québec. The exhibition, which includes over 50 works of art, will feature a diverse mix of painting, sculpture, video, costume and archival materials.
Carl Beam: Time Traveller
Carl Beam: Time Traveller features a selection of works on paper by Ojibwe artist Carl Beam (1943-2005) drawn from the McMichael's permanent collection. Beam's combined-use of family photographs, images from archival sources and news media suggests the interplay of past and present in his complex experience of twentieth century life, placing the condition of Indigenous peoples within a global context.
This House Was Made For Christmas
In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the gallery’s founders, Robert and Signe McMichael, celebrated Christmas with a welcoming spirit, inviting neighbours into their home to enjoy their collection of Canadian art. With its log-and-stone architecture construction and panoramic views of the snow-covered forest, the McMichaels’ home was truly a place of special Christmas cheer; so-much-so that Signe McMichael was once quoted in an article, “This house was made for Christmas.”
Stephen Andrews: Aftermath
This exhibition will focus on Stephen Andrews’ works responding to images of war and prisoners of war, exploring the way in which we experience such imagery through the media. Andrews’ works, which are largely pencil crayon on paper, subtly interpret the omissions and misinterpretations of war imagery, with many images culled from unofficial soldiers’ blogs and other online platforms.
Dianne Bos: The Sleeping Green
Dianne Bos borrows a phrase from Isaac Rosenberg’s famous World War I poem Break of Day in the Trenches for the title of this exhibition, which consists of extraordinary photographs taken in ‘no-man’s land’, amid the trenches of the former Western Front.
David Milne: Modern Painting
This exhibition will document an artistic career that spanned the first half of the 20th century, bringing together more than ninety works in oil and watercolour, never-before-exhibited photographs and drawings by the artist, and memorabilia collected by Milne during his time in Europe as an official war artist.
With its unique mandate to collect and celebrate the Art of Canada, the McMichael’s permanent collection is always growing. This is made possible largely by to the exceptional generosity of our donors. This exhibition showcases a selection of recent additions to the permanent collection, many on display for the first time.
Laying the Foundation: Works from the Original Gift
The McMichael Canadian Art Collection started out as a modest four-room home, built in 1954 for a young photographer and his wife – Robert and Signe McMichael. It was designed in a robust but stylish log cabin aesthetic by architect Leo Venchiarutti (1947-2007).
J.E.H. MacDonald: Up Close
Works from the McMichael collection to celebrate the art and science of J.E.H. MacDonald’s artistic practice. McMichael conservator, Alison Douglas, will share the research results from a Canadian Conservation Institute study that created a base line for ‘what makes a MacDonald painting?’ Complete with microscopic photographs, the materials and methods of the artist will be explored in depth, especially in relation to the artist’s predilection for small studies.
Norval Morrisseau (1931-2007)
A display of works by Norval Morrisseau and the Woodland School from the McMichael’s permanent collection.
A display of works on paper by Robert Davidson from the McMichael’s permanent collection.
…Everything Remains Raw
...Everything Remains Raw is a photographic exploration of the resilience of hip hop culture and asks why this supposed ‘fad’ has not faded away? Archival photographs, as visual representations of hip hop culture in Canada, guides this exhibition’s exploration on the evolution and longevity of this now global cultural phenomenon. Photographic works from Michael Chambers, Sheinina Raj, Demuth Flake, Nabil Shash, Patrick Nichols, and Stella Fakiyesi capture the growth of the hip hop scene, as well as the voice, creativity and influence of these artists.
Ivory, Bone, Antler and Horn: Masterworks of Inuit Sculpture
Inuit artists work in distinctive, innovative styles and combine ivory, bone, antler and horn to great effect. Whale bone, caribou bone, and antler are frequently used for carving by Inuit. For centuries, Inuit have been carving utilitarian objects and decorating their tools with ivory, bone, antler and horn. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, they began creating sculpture for sale outside the community as a source of income. The early works were usually small carvings from walrus ivory representing seals, caribou, polar bears, and birds, as well as small ivory genre scenes of hunting from kayaks, driving dog teams, or skinning seals. Appropriately, these small items are usually referred to as “trade sculptures.” The history of Inuit sculptures as a source of income, types of bone used for specific carvings, and the significance of this art form will be explored in this exhibition.
Tukilik: Inukshuk and Inuit Art
Tukilik, an Inuktitut word defined as a “thing that has meaning”, is an apt title for this exhibition that explores the many meanings and artistic interpretations of inuksuit (plural of inukshuk) of Baffin Island. There are over 60 photographs, drawings, prints, and sculptures from the McMichael Canadian Art Collection including the Norman E. Hallendy Archive.
The Art of Canada
Ian Dejardin, Executive Director of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, is delving deep into the gallery’s vaults to make a very personal selection of works of art for his first curated show since taking the reins of the gallery. Dejardin promises many classic favourites, but also some that have been rarely seen, and some that might surprise even an audience familiar with Canadian art. This exhibition will showcase the beauty, diversity, and artistry of the art of Canada.
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.
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.
Passion Over Reason: Tom Thomson & Joyce Wieland
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.