150 Artists

26/150: Kent Monkman – Shame & Prejudice

Kent Monkman, The Scream, 84″ x 132″ – 2017. Acrylic on Canvas

Kent Monkman’s (b: 1965) powerful, large-scale travelling project for Canada’s Sesquicentennial takes the viewer on a journey through 300 years of history, narrating a story of Canada through the lens of First Nations.  Monkman is of Cree ancestry, is one of Canada’s best-known artists, and has an increasingly credible voice to tackle the themes of colonialism represented in his paintings.

Kent Monkman, The Bears of Confederation, 2016. Acrylic on canvas. 190x345cm. Collection of Michelle Bilodeau & Matt Kingston. (U of T online exhibition page)

The exhibition, Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resiliencewas commissioned by the Art Museum of the University of Toronto where it debuted in January. It travels to the Glenbow Museum in Calgary in June.  “I can’t think about the Indigenous experience without being critical of colonial policies that were genocidal,” Monkman told Canadian Art in a feature on the artist and the show.  “There is no lighter version of that—it’s pretty clear that I have to speak directly to these issues.” Hear him speak about his work in this video.

In the Studio with Kent Monkman from Canadian Art on Vimeo.

As both the artist and curator of the project, “he uses his signature penchant for the absurd to delve into the brutality of 300 years of Canadian history, tying it to the current-day realities for those who live on reservations or the north end of Winnipeg,” the U of T art museum says in a feature on the exhibition.

U of T Art Museum online exhibition site, here.

A feature on the exhibition, here.

Kent Monkman’s website, here.

His biography, here.

At the National Gallery of Canada, here.



Glenbow Museum June 17 – Sept 10, 2017

Agnes Etherington Art Centre Jan 6 – Apr 8, 2018

Confederation Centre Art Gallery June 24 – Sept 15, 2018

Art Gallery of Nova Scotia Oct 13 – Dec 16, 2018

McCord Museum Feb 8 – May 5, 2019

Tom Thomson Art Gallery Summer 2019

Winnipeg Art Gallery Oct 2019 – Jan, 2020

Museum of Anthropology May – Oct, 2020

This is #26 in the series 150 Artists.

3 replies »

  1. A wonderfully talented artist. He is painting a difficult part of Canadian History, with great style. There is something about his work’s message, and using assistants to be more prolific that bring to my mind…”No man is an island” _John Donne.


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