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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
Zachari Logan’s artist residency at the McMichael, and related artwork commissioned by the gallery, folds seamlessly into Passion Over Reason as a 21st-century complement to Tom Thomson’s subject matter and Joyce Wieland’s strategically ‘feminine’ approaches to art making. Like Thomson, Logan (b. 1980) has Scottish roots but was born in Canada. Logan’s pastel and paint celebrations of flora and fauna in dense configurations would make any naturalist swoon, and the tender treatments of the human body interwoven among them make us think twice about sexually suggestive flora which is commonly associated with women artists.
J.E.H. MacDonald once noted that Lawren Harris was compelled to sing a tune when he sat nearby the natural rhythms of water to paint en plein air.During the summer of 2017 – Canada’s 150th year – the McMichael Canadian Art Collection will become a place to wander, celebrate and delight in acoustic space.
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.
To [Inuit], 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.