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Meryl McMaster at McMichael

Canadian and Plains Cree photographer Meryl McMaster was an emerging artist when last profiled on Canadian Art Junkie 10 years ago. Now, a survey exhibition of her pioneering large-scale photographic works is about to open at one of Canada’s preeminent institutions, the National Gallery of Canada now holds four of her remarkable works and she is in simultaneous shows in 2023 after rising to international notice in the last decade.

Meryl McMaster (b. 1988) On the Edge of This Immensity, 2019 Digital Chromogenic Print 101.6 x 152.4 cm, Courtesy of the artist, Stephen Bulger Gallery, and Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain 

Bloodline , opening at the McMichael Canadian Collection Feb. 4 (to May 28), looks back to McMaster’s past accomplishments and bring us up to date on her current explorations of family histories, in particular those of her Plains Cree female forebears from the Red Pheasant Cree Nation in present day Saskatchewan.

Meryl McMaster, Times Gravity, 2015, courtesy Montclair Art Museum

The Montclair Art Museum in New Jersey, where McMaster’s new show “Chronologies” runs March 18 throug Sept. 17, features previous photo, poetry and video along with new works from her 2022 series “Stories of my Grandmothers | nôhkominak âcimowina.”

Meryl McMaster (Plains Cree/Euro-Canadian b. 1988), What Will I Say to the Sky and the Earth II (from the series As Immense as the Sky), 2019, chromogenic print flush mounted to Aluminum Composite Panel. Gift of the Women’s Art Association of Hamilton, 2019. Courtesy Meryl McMaster.

McMaster made international waves with her series  As Immense as the Sky (2019), across Canada and in the UK, France, and Australia. The 19 photographs focus on her travels to Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Newfoundland as she retraces the journeys of her nêhiyaw (Plains Cree) and European (British/Dutch) ancestors. 

Meryl McMaster: Bloodline is co-curated by McMichael Chief Curator Sarah Milroy and Tarah Hogue, Curator of Indigenous Art at Saskatoon’s Remai Modern, joint organizer the exhibition. It is a Core Exhibition of the 2023 Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival.

Meryl McMaster at the National Gallery of Canada, here.

A comprehensive profile on the Art Institute of Canada, here

Image Credit Top of post: Meryl McMaster (b. 1988) Calling Me Home, 2019 Digital Chromogenic Print 101.6 x 152.4 cm Courtesy of the artist, Stephen Bulger Gallery, and Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain

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