Until April 10, the MacKenzie Art Gallery is showing an exhibition called Expanding Horizons which features work by Arthur Lismer and fellow Group of Seven members A.J. Casson and A.Y. Jackson.
East Wind Brings A New Day is a companion show of sorts. It’s by Anishinaabe artist Maria Hupfield, and one of the feature elements is a re-envisioning of a windblown pine from G7 contemporary Tom Thomson’s 1917 painting The West Wind.
That’s a studio shot of Hupfield’s work above. She apparently grew up in the Georgian Bay area where the Group of Seven did a lot of landscape painting. In Canadian art history, the group is credited with establishing a unique Canadian approach to the landscape that reflected the reality here as opposed to the conventions of British landscape painting that had previously been popular in the 19th century.
As an indigenous artist, Hupfield riffs on both the G7 style and the Woodlands School which was championed by artists such as Jackson Beardy, Norval Morrisseau and Daphne Odjig. The blending of the two styles serves as a reminder that before the G7 “discovered” the untamed beauty of the Georgian Bay area it had been home to the Anishinaabe people for countless generations.
East Wind Brings A New Day is on at the MacKenzie until April 10.