Canvassing Canada

A new exhibition opening at The Winnipeg Art Gallery brings together historical portraiture, landscape, and abstract paintings by 50 of Canada’s most distinguished artists, including Tom Thomson, Emily Carr, and Jean-Paul Riopelle. Canada on Canvas: A Private Collection at The Winnipeg Art Gallery, opening on May 2, spans approximately 130 years of production, from the mid-19th century up to the 1970s. A nation’s painting tradition can give substance to a rich weave of beliefs, hopes, memories, and fears that sustain a people. Its visual narratives can enliven a sense of collective belonging and equally remind us of the competing interests and struggles that are no less defining. “This exhibition celebrates Canada’s painting tradition by highlighting three areas of thematic content: people, place, and paint,” says Associate Curator Andrew Kear. “These categories criss-cross histories and regions, and allow for a focused look at how painterly subjects and techniques are shared and evolve in different locations, at different historical moments.” Says Director Dr. Stephen Borys, “Although augmented by works from our own collection, Canada on Canvas: A Private Collection draws extensively from an important private collection of Canadian painting, on generous long-term loan to the WAG. We are delighted to have been the institution chosen to display this magnificent collection.”