January 26 – March 5, 2017
Details: Kent Monkman’s new, large scale project takes the viewer on a journey through Canada’s history that starts in the present and takes us back to a hundred and fifty years before Confederation. With its entry points in the harsh urban environment of Winnipeg’s north end, and contemporary life on the reserve, the exhibition takes us all the way back to the period of New France and the fur trade. The Rococo masterpiece The Swing by Jean-Honoré Fragonard is reinterpreted as an installation with Monkman’s alter ego, Miss Chief Eagle Testickle, in a beaver trimmed baroque dress, swinging back and forth between the Generals Wolfe and Montcalm.
As both artist and curator, Kent Monkman’s first major solo-exhibition at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto includes his own paintings, drawings and sculptural works, in dialogue with historical artefacts and art works borrowed from museum and private collections from across the country. The exhibition narrates a story of Canada through the lens of First Nations’ resilience.
Kent Monkman is a Canadian artist and curator of Cree ancestry who works with a variety of mediums, including painting, film/video, performance, and installation. His most recent curatorial project was the exhibition My Treaty is with the Crown at the Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery at Concordia University in 2011. As an artist, he has had solo exhibitions at numerous Canadian museums including the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art in Toronto, Winnipeg Art Gallery, and Art Gallery of Hamilton. He has participated in various international group exhibitions including: The American West at Compton Verney, Warwickshire; Remember Humanity at Witte de With, Rotterdam; 2010 Biennale of Sydney; My Winnipeg at la maison rouge, Paris; and Oh, Canada at MASS MoCA, North Adams. Monkman has created site specific performances at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Royal Ontario Museum, and Compton Verney. He has also made Super 8 versions of these performances which he calls “Colonial Art Space Interventions”. His award-winning short film and video works have been screened at various national and international festivals, including the 2007 and 2008 Berlinale, and the 2007 and 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. His work is represented in numerous public and private collections including the National Gallery of Canada, Denver Art Museum, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Museum London, Glenbow Museum, Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Mackenzie Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Ontario, Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and Vancouver Art Gallery.
This touring exhibition is produced by the Art Museum at the University of Toronto in partnership with the Confederation Centre Art Gallery, Charlottetown and has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada. Ce projet a été rendu possible en partie grâce au gouvernement du Canada.
Lead Sponsor: Donald R. Sobey Family Foundation.
Additional support has been provided by the Ontario Arts Council’s National and International Touring program, and the University of Toronto Jackman Humanities Institute.
The Art Museum at the University of Toronto gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Toronto Arts Council.