October 30, 2014, KLEINBURG ON – The McMichael Canadian Art Collection’s upcoming special exhibition entitled Eyes on Quebec: Treasures from the Andrée Rhéaume Fitzhenry and Robert Fitzhenry Collection, which runs from November 8, 2014 to February 1, 2015, celebrates the extraordinary vision of two private collectors and their passion for Canadian art.

Comprised of significant works by artists including Clarence Gagnon, Marc-Aurèle Fortin, Jean Paul Lemieux, Paul-Émile Borduas, and Jean Paul Riopelle, the exhibition is a stunning tribute to the memory of the late Andrée Rhéaume Fitzhenry, whose discerning eye and interest in Quebec art were at the heart of this exceptional private collection. Eyes on Quebec considers the significance of key artists and movements both within the history of art in Quebec and Canada as a whole.

The exhibition is organized by the McMichael Canadian Art Collection and developed by the gallery’s curatorial team, Katerina Atanassova, Sharona Adamowicz-Clements, and Chris Finn. Enhanced by works from the McMichael’s permanent holdings, the Fitzhenry Collection will be displayed over three gallery spaces, each one highlighting a different aspect of the history and development of art in Quebec.

The notion of the figure is explored through the work of Jean Paul Lemieux, one of the foremost Quebec painters of the twentieth century, to whom an entire room in the exhibition is dedicated. Created during the height of his career, the works in the show are indicative of Lemieux’s signature style—a simple and somewhat flat form of representation. Thematically, they are divided between sombre meditations on the ephemerality of human life, and nostalgic depictions of budding friendship, rebirth, and youthful beauty.

The tradition of landscape painting in Quebec is represented through works by Clarence Gagnon, Cornelius Kreighoff, Robert Wakeham Pilot, Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté, and others. This section considers the connection between the experiences of early settlers in Quebec and the artists’ depictions of cultivated landscapes inhabited by their ancestors. These pastoral scenes offer an alternative vision of Canada that differs greatly from the rugged, unpeopled landscapes of the Group of Seven.

The last gallery space focusses on the rise of non-representational art following the Second World War, with particular attention to two artistic movements that distinguished themselves in Quebec: the Automatistes and Prisme d’Yeux. Both based on a rejection of mainstream culture in the mid-twentieth century, they embodied the creative fervour of their time. The artists featured in this section include Paul-Émile Bourduas, Alfred Pellan, Léon Bellefleur, and Jean Paul Riopelle, among others.

Eyes on Quebec is accompanied by a limited edition catalogue of the same name, published by the McMichael, and featuring over forty artwork reproductions. It includes articles by all three curators.

The exhibition and publication are made possible thanks to the generous support of The Andrée Rhéaume and Robert Fitzhenry Family Foundation. Media wishing to view the exhibition are requested to contact Rachel Weiner, Media Relations and Communications Coordinator, 905.893.1121 ext. 2210 or by email

Group Tours:

Eyes on Quebec

Available November 8, 2014 to February 1, 2015

Fee: $15 per person. A minimum of 15 participants is required. For smaller groups, a base charge will apply. Available in French and English.

For more information or to book, contact Michael Brown at 905.893.1121 ext. 2536 or email

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 Sport, and the McMichael Canadian Art Foundation. It is the foremost venue in the country showcasing the Group of Seven and their contemporaries. In addition to touring exhibitions, its permanent collection consists of almost 6,000 artworks by Canadian artists, including paintings by the Group of Seven and their contemporaries, as well as First Nations, Métis and Inuit artists. The gallery is located on 100 acres of northern landscape and hiking trails at 10365 Islington Avenue, Kleinburg, north of Major Mackenzie Drive in the City of Vaughan. For more information:

Media Contact:

Rachel Weiner

Media Relations and Communications Coordinator

McMichael Canadian Art Collection

905.893.1121 ext. 2210