19 May - 14 July 2007
Kent Monkman: Hunting Scenes and Other Amusements from the Great North West
ABOUT THE SHOW
The gallery Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain is proud to present a series of works by Kent Monkman concurrently to his participation at the exhibition Cracking the Sky of the Montreal Biennale. These works include studies for the large-scale painting Trappers of Men (2006) recently acquired by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, notably a drawing referencing the Crepuscule painting of Bouguereau.
Kent Monkman's history paintings are revisionist investigations of early European, British and American reportage on First Nation cultures. They take they visual cues from a controversial image of savage yet noble indigenous cultures. As the nineteenth century began, the vast area west of the Mississipppi and Red River systems was a mysterious void to most North Americans. However, from 1803, more than three million square miles revealed their secrets to an army of naturalists, adventurers and invaders.In the 1850 the "wild land" was depicted, with misleading embellishments, through the eyes of a few bold painters, most of European descent. Albert Bierstadt's romanticized landscapes of mid-west America developed from plein air sketches after which waterfalls, aboriginal figures and distortions of geography were added. The visual art of Bierstadt became a starting point for Monkman's own reportage of landscapes and indigenous portraits. (source: Montreal Biennale 2007 catalogue, p. 112).
The exhibition at Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain also includes photographs and the monoband version of his video Group of Seven Inches in which Monkmans's performative two-spirited alter ego, Miss Chief Share Eagle Testicle, wearing loincloth and headdress satirizes and re-visions the early ethnographic profiles from a sexualized and authoritative indegenous perspective. We invite you to consult www.urbannation.com for more information on the artist's film work.
Born in 1965, Kent Monkman is an artist of Cree ancestry who works with a variety of mediums, including painting, film/video, performance and installation. He has had solo exhibitions at the Art Gallery of Hamilton, Walter Phillips Gallery, and the Indian Art Centre, and has participated in various international group exhibitions including: “We come in peace…” Histories of the Americas, at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montreal, and The American West, at Compton Verney, in Warwickshire, England. Monkman has created site specific performances at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, and at Compton Verney, and has also made super 8 versions of these performances that 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 2006 Berlinale. His work is represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, Musée des Beaux Arts, Museum London, The Mackenzie Art Gallery the Woodland Cultural Centre, the Indian Art Centre, and the Canada Council Art Bank. A solo exhibition of his work opens at the Art Gallery of Hamilton in June 2007 and will tour to museums across Canada including Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, and the Winnipeg Art Gallery.
WORKS FOR SALE
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VIEWS OF THE SHOW
Paul Gessel. "Aboriginal art with attitude." The Ottawa Citizen 26 July 2007
Isa Tousigant. "On the hunt." The Hour (Montreal) 5 July 2007
Richard Burnett. "Gone with the Wind." The Hour (Montreal) 14 June 2007
Nicolas Mavrikakis. "Légendes du Nouveau Monde." Voir (Montreal) 14 June 2007 (in French)
Meet the Artist at the National Gallery of Canada
Current exhibition at the Art Gallery of Hamilton
David Liss. "Kent Monkman: Miss Chief's Return." Canadian Art Fall 2005
Artist's website at www.kentmonkman.com