McMichael Canadian Art Collection Announces Summer 2024 Exhibitions

3 images representative for 3 exhibitions

Left: Clarence Alphonse Gagnon (1881–1942), On the Beach of Baie St. Paul, 1909, oil on board, 15.9 x 23.5 cm, private collection, Top Right: Caroline Monnet, We Are Earth, 2023, Embroidery on air barrier membrane, 55 x 42 in, Private Collection, Bottom Right: “Namazu”, washi patchwork (scraps collected over three years), printmaking, natural dye, ink, paper rice bags, (approx 70x128”), 2023, Installation view: Patel Brown Gallery. Photo credit: Jean-Michael Seminaro

June 21, 2024, Kleinburg, ON—The McMichael Canadian Art Collection today announces its 2024 summer exhibition program celebrating the 150th anniversary of Impressionism. River of Dreams: Impressionism on the St. Lawrence presents a survey of more than 150 works by Quebec Impressionists from a century ago, among them William Brymner, Ozias Leduc, James Wilson Morrice, Henrietta Mabel May, Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté, Maurice Cullen, Clarence Gagnon, and others — offering not just a magisterial statement on the legacies of Quebec painting, but a glimpse into the heart and soul of a culture seen through the eyes of its most beloved artists.

A contemporary expression of landscape as the carrier of ancestral memory can be seen in the work of Anishinaabe/French artist Caroline Monnet in her exhibition exploring the landscape as a site for the transmission of knowledge.

An exhibition of early work by Quebec-born A.Y. Jackson rounds out our understanding of a key member of the Group of Seven, and the art of Quebec and Europe that shaped him.

Finally, as part of the Tom Thomson Shack Artist Residency program, the McMichael welcomes Japanese Canadian artist Alexa Kumiko Hatanaka throughout the month of June. Hatanaka has created a site-specific work in the Thomson shack that will remain on view through mid-October.

Opening on June 22, River of Dreams: Impressionism on the St. Lawrence explores the Quebec iteration of the Impressionist movement on the occasion of its 150th anniversary. Many Quebec artists trained in France, carrying the seed of European modernism back to Canada. These artists became known for their vivid landscapes and lively city scenes, and this show assembles a choice collection of masterworks that trace a journey from the bustling streets of Montreal—then Canada’s financial capital—down the St. Lawrence River to Quebec City, Beaupré and Charlevoix. River of Dreams gathers the works of William Brymner, Ozias Leduc, James Wilson Morrice, Henrietta Mabel May, Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté, Maurice Cullen, Clarence Gagnon, and others in a broad survey of Quebecois artists rarely seen in Ontario. The exhibition offers an immersive time-travel experience by including archival photography, textiles, and pottery from the region.

River of Dreams: Impressionism on the St. Lawrence is co-curated by Anne-Marie Bouchard and Sarah Milroy and is accompanied by a 256-page catalogue published by Goose Lane Editions.

Opening on June 29, Pizandawatc / The One Who Listens / Celui qui écoute presents a selection of work by Anishinaabe/French artist Caroline Monnet (b. 1985). The exhibition draws its name from the Anishinaabemowin term for “the one who listens” and is derived from the traditional name of the artist’s maternal family, before surnames were changed by Oblate missionaries. The title honours Monnet’s great-grandmother, Mani Pizandawatc, who was the first member of her family to have her territory divided into reserves.

Pizandawatc features a selection of works that extend Monnet’s considerations of time, oral histories, knowledge sharing, and the concept of the land as a carrier of memory. Layered woodworks materialize the artist’s impulse to preserve language in a durable physical format, while bronze sculptures mimic the shape of wood modified by the weather. Monnet’s embroidered textile works, often created from industrial insulation materials, incorporate phrases that recall the connective power of nature and the resilience of Indigenous cultural expressions. This presentation is a modified version of an exhibition curated by Mona Filip for the Art Museum at the University of Toronto.

Jackson’s Wars: A.Y. Jackson before the Group of Seven, on view through Feb 2, 2025, is a rare examination of the work of painter Alexander Young (A.Y.) Jackson (1882–1974), spotlighting the decade leading up to the Group of Seven’s formation in 1920. Before his rise to fame, Jackson spent years contending with galleries, art critics, and private collectors in his native Montreal. In his early years, he was greatly influenced by the style of older Quebec artists, including Maurice Cullen, who was working in an Impressionist style at the time. Co-curated by historian Douglas Hunter and Sarah Milroy, Jackson’s Wars features paintings made during the artist’s trips abroad to Italy, Belgium, and France, as well as his evocative depictions of rural Quebec and Ontario made upon his return. Hunter is the author of Jackson’s Wars, a historical account of A.Y. Jackson’s formative years as a soldier and artist, from which the exhibition takes its name and inspiration. The exhibition also includes a selection of Jackson’s paintings made during the First World War depicting the battlefields in France; his wartime experience would have a lasting impact on his interpretations of the Canadian landscape. This is a rare opportunity to look afresh at the legacy of one of Canada’s most significant painters, refocusing attention on his early accomplishments, struggles, and triumphs.

Finally, as part of the Tom Thomson Shack Artist Residency program, the McMichael is pleased to welcome Toronto-based visual artist Alexa Kumiko Hatanaka (b. 1988) throughout the month of June. Hatanaka, who works primarily in time-intensive, historic processes with relief printmaking, textiles, and paper, has created a site-specific installation that will remain on view at the McMichael until mid-October. Visitors are invited to engage with the artist from 1 to 2 pm every Thursday and Friday in June 2024.

Ces informations sont aussi disponibles en français.

Media wishing to request artist/curator interviews, guided tours, obtain high-resolution images of exhibitions, artwork, or review copies of publications are asked to contact Sam Cheung at or 905.893.1121 ext. 2210.

About the McMichael Canadian Art Collection

The McMichael Canadian Art Collection is an agency of the Government of Ontario and acknowledges the support of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Gaming, 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 7,000 works by historic and contemporary Canadian artists, including Tom Thomson, the Group of Seven and their contemporaries, Indigenous artists and artists from the many diasporic communities. The gallery is located on 100 acres of forested landscape and hiking trails at 10365 Islington Avenue, Kleinburg, north of Major Mackenzie Drive in the City of Vaughan. For more information, please visit

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McMichael Canadian Art Collection
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