Fall and Winter Exhibitions at the McMichael:
Marcel Dzama, Moridja Kitenge Banza, and the industrial art history of Cobalt, ON.

Marcel Dzama (b. 1974), Ghost of Canoe Lake, 2023, pearlescent acrylic, ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper, 36.2 x 36.2 cm, Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner © Marcel Dzama

Moridja Kitenge Banza (b. 1980), Chiromancie #14 n°1, 2023, acrylic on canvas, 152.4 x 106.7 cm, private collection. Photo courtesy of the artist and Galerie Hugues Charbonneau, Montreal © Moridja Kitenge Banza

oil painting of rocky landscape with industrial buildings in foreground,, water in middleground and buildings on far shore on hillsides

Franklin Carmichael (1890–1945), A Northern Silver Mine, 1930, oil on canvas, 101.5 x 121.2 cm, Gift of Mrs. A.J. Latner, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, 1971.9

November 15, 2023, KLEINBURG, ON –The McMichael Canadian Art Collection is pleased to announce a series of exhibitions exploring the legacy of resource extraction on the landscape – the allure of boom times and the toll of mining activity – as well as a triumphant exhibition of new work by Marcel Dzama, the acclaimed artist’s first solo museum show in Canada in nearly a decade. Curated by Sarah Milroy, who assumed the position of Executive Director and Chief Curator on November 1, 2023, these exhibitions demonstrate the McMichael’s leadership as the home to the art of Canada, knitting together our past and present legacies in ways that intrigue, educate and entertain our audiences from coast to coast to coast.

“Our exhibitions on Cobalt and Moridja Kitenge Banza reflect on the legacies of mining in Canada and beyond, as artists from the past and present grapple with the environmental and societal impacts of resource extraction to create new artistic forms,” said Milroy. “Meanwhile, Ghosts of Canoe Lake: New Work by Marcel Dzama, mines another resource — that of Canadian art history, as he revisits the legacies of the Group of Seven and Tom Thomson, and his own reckoning with the changing natural world.”

The season begins with a pair of exhibitions that explore how the mining industry shapes communities and landscapes. Montreal-based artist Moridja Kitenge Banza’s (b. 1980) bold use of contours and colours in large-format paintings invite us to consider the environmental and social impact of intensive resource extraction on communities around the world. Opening November 18, 2023, Moridja Kitenge Banza: Topographies considers resource exploitation in both the artist’s home country of the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as his new home in Canada.

Topographies provides a contemporary response and thematic companion to Cobalt: A Mining Town and the Canadian Imagination, which opens concurrently on November 18. The exhibition is curated by Dr Catharine Mastin, who also authored the accompanying in-depth publication. Whereas Banza examines the environmental and social impacts of contemporary mining on the natural landscape, Cobalt: A Mining Town and the Canadian Imagination revisits historic depictions of Cobalt, Ontario, a mining town that served a century ago as a heroic symbol of human industry and Canadian ingenuity, while also being the site of catastrophic environmental devastation.

A.Y. Jackson (1882–1974), Ontario Mining Town, Cobalt, 1933, oil on canvas, 53.3 x 71.8 cm, The Irwin Family

A.Y. Jackson (1882–1974), Ontario Mining Town, Cobalt, 1933, oil on canvas, 53.3 x 71.8 cm, The Irwin Family

Cobalt will feature a survey of work by 20th century artists who visited and documented Cobalt and its silver mines between the First and Second World Wars, among them A.Y Jackson, Yvonne McKague Housser, Bess Larkin Housser Harris, Isabel McLaughlin, Frederick Banting, and Franklin Carmichael.

Marcel Dzama (b. 1974), The Sisters of Nature, 2023, pearlescent acrylic, ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper, 36.2 x 36.2 cm, Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner © Marcel Dzama

On December 9, 2023, the McMichael will proudly debut Ghosts of Canoe Lake: New Work by Marcel Dzama. This is the triumphant Canadian homecoming of internationally acclaimed, Winnipeg-born contemporary artist Marcel Dzama (b. 1974), best known for his fantastical and imaginative ink and watercolour drawings. His multimedia installation at the McMichael celebrates a new body of work inspired by the artist’s interest in Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven and harkens back to his childhood spent in the landscapes of Manitoba and northern Saskatchewan.

A blend of paintings, installation, and film, Ghosts of Canoe Lake is the first major exhibition of Dzama’s work to be presented in Canada in nearly a decade and will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with contributions from Winnipeg filmmaker Guy Maddin and an interview with the artist by Sarah Milroy. The exhibition is organized in collaboration with Contemporary Calgary.

To obtain high-resolution images or request an interview, please contact Sam Cheung, Media Relations and Communications Coordinator at [email protected] or 905.893.1121 ext. 2210.

Ces informations sont aussi disponible en français. 


The McMichael Canadian Art Collection is an agency of the Government of Ontario and acknowledges the support of the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, and the McMichael Canadian Art Foundation. It is the only major museum in the country devoted exclusively to Canadian art. In addition to touring exhibitions, the McMichael houses a permanent collection of more than 6,500 works by historic and contemporary Canadian artists, including Tom Thomson, the Group of Seven and their contemporaries, Indigenous artists and artists from many diasporic communities in Canada. The Gallery is located on 100 acres of forested land and hiking trails at 10365 Islington Avenue, Kleinburg, north of Major Mackenzie Drive in the City of Vaughan. For more information, please visit mcmichael.com. 


Sam Cheung
Media Relations and Communications Coordinator
McMichael Canadian Art Collection
905.893.1121 ext. 2210
[email protected]

Grace Johnstone
Director, Communications, Marketing and Sales
McMichael Canadian Art Collection
905-893-1121 x2265
[email protected]