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Woodland School

October 24, 2009 to August 15, 2010

The Woodland School exhibit examines the vibrant art of Woodland School painters Norval Morrisseau, Daphne Odjig, Carl Ray, Alex Janvier, Blake Debassige, Saul Williams, Martin Panamick, and Goyce Kakegamic and other Woodland School artists. The Woodland School style of painting was popularized through the work of Norval Morrisseau who caught the attention of the art-buying public with his first exhibition at the Pollock Gallery in Toronto in 1962. Morrisseau, defying cultural restrictions, based his work on traditional Ojibway visual imagery taken from petroglyphs and Midewewin birchbark scrolls, as well as from the myths and legends of his people.

The Woodland School style has several characteristics including; a predominant black form line, an undifferentiated background, pure colours, x-ray perspectives, and a system of interconnecting lines known as linear determinatives that indicate sacred power. The overall effect produces a bright vivid image similar in some ways to stained glass. The Woodland School has become one of the most recognizable forms of First Nations art.

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Artist's Wife and Daughter

Norval Morrisseau, 1931–2007
Artist's Wife and Daughter, 1975
acrylic on hardboard
101.6 x 81.3 cm
McMichael Canadian Art Collection
Purchase 1975
1981.87.1

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