Painting Canada: Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven
November 3, 2012 to January 6, 2013

Painting Canada CatalogueThe McMichael Canadian Art Collection presents a special exhibition, Painting Canada: Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven, from November 3, 2012 to January 6, 2013. The exhibition proved to be a sensational success at venues such as: the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London, UK; National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design in Oslo, Norway; and the Groninger Museum in Groningen, the Netherlands. The McMichael Canadian Art Collection’s presentation of this exhibition will be the only Canadian engagement. This major exhibition of Canadian art is the largest in history to travel to Europe, featuring an astonishing 122 paintings as well as Tom Thomson’s sketch box.

Painting Canada: Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven is organized by the National Gallery of Canada and the Dulwich Picture Gallery, in collaboration with the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo, and the Groninger Museum, the Netherlands. With the generous support of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and other lenders. The Canadian galleries have lent some of the country’s most iconic paintings, and a significant number of rarely seen works are coming from private collections.

The exhibition will present the work of Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven as a journey, from Tom Thomson to Lawren Harris, from woods to sky, from close‐up to endless vista, from sketch to finished work, from Algonquin to the Arctic. The exhibition is framed by Tom Thomson’s views of the lakes and trees of Algonquin Park, and by Lawren Harris’s lonely and vast visions of Lake Superior, the Rockies and the Arctic. Between these two ‘poles’ the exhibition charts a progress of expanding horizons represented by the very best of Thomson and the Group of Seven.

Throughout the exhibition, a further intellectual backbone is provided by a continuous and unique opportunity to explore the creative process through juxtaposing vibrant sketch with finished work. This will be the first time that an exhibition on Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven will bring together iconic masterpieces with their sketches. A special feature of the show will also be provided by the rich group of works found in private collections rarely seen by the public.

Director at Dulwich Picture Gallery Ian Dejardin curated this show in partnership with Dr. Anna Hudson, Associate Professor, Canadian and Curatorial Studies, York University, as well as Katerina Atanassova, Chief Curator, McMichael Canadian Art Collection.


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