29/150: Dil Hildebrand – Scenographer

Montreal artist Dil Hildebrand (b: 1974) worked as a set painter for theatre and TV before moving into the international mainstream with his large format paintings, some of them inspired by ancient Roman trompe l’oeil frescoes.

The Duck Quaketh, acrylic, resin & nylon fibre, and sand on acrylic panel in wood frame. 50 x 38″ C24 Gallery.

Lorem Ipsum is his first New York solo exhibition, showing new paintings through June 30 at C24 Gallery (above). Hildebrand garnered national attention in 2006, while still completing his MFA at Concordia University, when he won the prestigious RBC painting competition. Read More

Controversy: Is this art cultural appropriation?

Amanda PL, handout photo

A Toronto gallery has cancelled an exhibit over criticism the artist is inappropriately “borrowing” from spiritually significant indigenous art. The Visions Gallery, where work by Amanda PL was to open this month, said the gallery was “immediately criticized” when the show was announced, and within 24 hours the event was cancelled. (Read the gallery’s full statement, here.)

Spirit Bear, from Amanda PL’s Behance site.

The controversy flows from the fact that Amanda PL is non-indigenous and paints in the style of the Woodland school of art.  She acknowledges her style is similar to Anishnaabe artist Norval Morrisseau’s work, which features bright colours separated by black lines and abstract figures. (Toronto Star story here)

An example of Morrisseau’s work, from a page of his painting on Coghlan Art

Chief Lady Bird (Nancy King) is a Toronto-based Anishnaabe artist, called Amanda PL’s work cultural appropriation. The gallery consulted the indigenous leader after protests about the upcoming show erupted. Read More

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 Read More

24/150: David Burdeny – Long Exposures

Blue Coast, Realmonte, Agrigento, Sicily

Born in Winnipeg, David Burdeny (b: 1968) started to photograph the prairie landscape at age 12, making his own black and white prints in a makeshift darkroom that also served as his bedroom closet. He is an acclaimed photographer whose travel-inspired landscapes are characterized by unusually long exposures that result in detailed images and soft colour studies. Read More