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Drawing Conclusions

February 23 to June 8, 2008

For many Canadian artists drawing is an important component of their creativity. Drawing Conclusions presents 25 pieces by the nation’s most prominent contemporary artists and approximately 70 drawings by members of the Group of Seven. The McMichael show demonstrates the importance of “freehand drawing” in the training of artists throughout of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The selection of works hanging in the exhibition range from Globe and Mail editorial cartoons to sketches drawn on the battlefield.

This exhibition provides a rare opportunity to view drawings that are seldom exhibited due to their sensitivity to light. Included are drawings that not only served as visual diaries and preparatory drawings for future large canvases, but also were often finished works in themselves. Collectively these drawings allow the viewer to explore the place and role of this medium in the artistic practice dating back to the turn of the last century and moving forward to today.

Thematically selected works – portraits, figure studies, design and calligraphy, war studies, caricatures, urban scenes, and landscapes – provide insight into the Group’s influences and the range of their drawing skills as a means of artistic expression.

Today, the Group’s influence may still be seen in some of the works of many of Canada’s contemporary artists (others simply share a link to the discipline of drawing). To illustrate this link and the renewed interest in the importance of this artistic medium, Drawing Conclusions gives the McMichael the rare opportunity to look at the work of living artists in context to the gallery’s permanent collection holdings. This adjunct exhibition of contemporary works, curated by McMichael’s Senior Curator Shelley Falconer and Assistant Curator Chris Finn, spotlights the works of Sheila Butler, Brian Gable, Ann Kipling, Nobuo Kubota, Allan Harding MacKay, Medrie MacPhee, Charles Pachter, Tony Scherman, and John Ward.

The Group of Seven Drawing Conclusions exhibition has been curated by Terrence Heath. Mr. Heath is one of Canada’s most distinguished curators and art historians. He is also the award-winning author of numerous books, including the recently published biography of Canadian sculptor Joe Fafard.


Arthur Lismer, 1885-1969
Trees, date unknown
ink on paper
34.9 x 42.8 cm
McMichael Canadian Art Collection


Tony Scherman, b.1950
Simone, 2007
oil stick, oil paint, and charcoal on paper
36 x 27 inches
Collection of the Artist

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