DREAMSCAPES Spring/Summer /2018
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In the Canadian Salon of the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, early 20th-century paintings are clustered on a red wall. In the foreground, a magnificent birchbark canoe highlights Indigenous artistry from the same time period.

In another room, a vitrine displays Indigenous beadwork against the backdrop of Tom Thomson’s The Jack Pine

Throughout the National Gallery of Canada’s new Canadian and Indigenous Galleries, which opened June 15, a conversation is taking place between works by Indigenous and non-Indigenous creators, says Josée-Britanie Mallet, the gallery’s senior media and public relations officer. “The idea was to tell a more complete story of art made in Canada,” she says. Pieces made at the same time are displayed together, to show how styles influenced each other or evolved in parallel.

“It’s not new,” she adds, explaining that the gallery has been displaying Indigenous art for many years. “It’s just that we’re doing it in a different, bigger way.”

Works made before 1967 are displayed in permanent galleries. A separate exhibition, Canadian and Indigenous Art: 1968 to Present (until April 30, 2018), features more than 150 modern pieces, including recent drawings by Annie Pootoogook and other Inuit artists, and a video installation by the collective General Idea.

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For more information on the National Gallery of Canada and its galleries, visit gallery.ca.

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