January 26 – March 4, 2017

A project by Kent Monkman

Opening reception
January 26, 2017 6:30-8:30pm

University of Toronto Art Centre


Kent Monkman’s new, large scale project takes the viewer on a journey through Canada’s history that starts in the present and takes us back to a hundred and fifty years before Confederation. With its entry points in the harsh urban environment of Winnipeg’s north end, and contemporary life on the reserve, the exhibition takes us all the way back to the period of New France and the fur trade. The Rococo masterpiece The Swing by Jean-Honoré Fragonard is reinterpreted as an installation with Monkman’s alter ego, Miss Chief Eagle Testicklein a beaver trimmed baroque dress, swinging back and forth between the Generals Wolfe and Montcalm.
As both artist and curator, Kent Monkman’s first major solo-exhibition at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto includes his own paintings, drawings and sculptural works, in dialogue with historical artefacts and art works borrowed from museum and private collections from across the country. The exhibition narrates a story of Canada through the lens of First Nations' resilience.

With a focus on his new paintings and drawings, Monkman’s visceral and moving exhibition provides a searing critique of Canada’s colonial policies in response to celebrations of Canada’s 150th birthday. As Monkman explains, “The last 150 years—the period of Modernity—represents the most devastating period for First Peoples, including the signing of the numbered treaties, the reserve system, genocidal policies of the residential schools, mass incarceration and urban squalor.”

After premiering at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto, this large scale exhibition will travel across Canada over the next two years. A catalogue  is forthcoming in the fall of 2017. It will be published in English, French, and Cree.


The R.K. Teetzel Lecture in Art by Kent Monkman
Wednesday, February 1, 2017, 4:30-6:00pm

University College, Room 140
The lecture will be followed by a reception from 6:00-7:30pm at the University of Toronto Art Centre

Curatorial Tour with Kent Monkman
Saturday, February 4, 2017, 2:00pm

Meet at the University of Toronto Art Centre

This touring exhibition is produced by the Art Museum at the University of Toronto in partnership with the Confederation Centre Art Gallery, Charlottetown and has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada. Ce projet a été rendu possible en partie grâce au gouvernement du Canada.

Lead Sponsor: Donald R. Sobey Family Foundation.

Additional support has been provided by the Ontario Arts Council's National and International Touring program, the University of Toronto Jackman Humanities Institute, Manulife, MBNATD Insurance and Media Sponsor, NOW Magazine.

The Art Museum at the University of Toronto gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Toronto Arts Council.

Image: Kent Monkman, The Bears of Confederation, 2016. Acrylic on canvas. 76" x 136". Collection of Michelle Bilodeau and Matt Kingston.