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WAG-Qaumajuq welcomes the powerful work of Robert Houle back to the Gallery
Winnipeg, Manitoba, October 6, 2022: The Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG)-Qaumajuq is thrilled to welcome an important exhibition to Manitoba. Organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario, Robert Houle: Red is Beautiful is a major career retrospective of an artist who has expanded the definition of contemporary Canadian art. Robert Houle is a noted painter and colourist; much of his work lives in the intersection between traditional Anishinaabe spirituality and the influence of Catholicism on Indigenous communities through residential schools. As an artist, curator, writer, critic, and educator, Houle’s work is celebrated in Canada and around the world. Red is Beautiful features over 90 large installations, paintings, and drawings from the artist’s fifty-year career, exploring topics such as war and nuclear fallout, the confluence of settler and Anishinaabe spirituality, residential schools, and Indigenous sovereignty and resistance.
Robert Houle: Red is Beautiful opens to the public on October 8, 2022, and runs to March 27, 2023. The exhibition is curated by Wanda Nanibush, Curator of Indigenous Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario.
The public is invited to join us for a special opening celebration of Red is Beautiful on Friday, October 7 at 7:00pm, which will also feature introductions from Robert Houle, Artist; Dr. Stephen Borys, WAG-Qaumajuq Director & CEO; and Wanda Nanibush, Curator. For the remainder of the evening, guests are invited to enjoy the cash bar and explore the exhibition! Admission is FREE.
On Saturday, October 8 at 2:00pm, dive deeper into the exhibition through a Conversation with the Artist, featuring Robert Houle and Wanda Nanibush in dialogue with WAG-Qaumajuq Director & CEO Dr. Stephen Borys, taking place in the Muriel Richardson Auditorium. Admission is FREE.
- Robert Houle (b. 1947, St. Boniface, Manitoba) is a Saulteaux contemporary artist, curator, writer, critic, and educator who has worked for more than fifty years to advocate for First Nations artistic representation and sovereignty and has established himself as an essential force within the artistic community in Canada and around the world.
- Organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario and curated by Wanda Nanibush, Robert Houle: Red is Beautiful is a major career retrospective of this influential artist.
- With a long history of connection to the Gallery, Robert Houle: Red is Beautiful will be Houle’s first solo exhibition at the Winnipeg Art Gallery since 1999. From February to April 1989, Houle was the artist-in-residence at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, and later exhibited two solo shows at the Gallery: his first solo show Robert Houle: Indians from A to Z, 1990, and, almost a decade later, Robert Houle: Sovereignty over Subjectivity, 1999.
- The public is invited to join us at a special opening celebration of Robert Houle: Red is Beautiful on Friday, October 7 at 7:00pm. The event will feature introductions from Robert Houle, Artist; Dr. Stephen Borys, WAG-Qaumajuq Director & CEO; and Wanda Nanibush, Curator. For the remainder of the evening, guests are invited to enjoy the cash bar and explore the exhibition! Admission is FREE.
- On October 8 at 2:00pm, the public is invited to a Conversation with the Artist, featuring Robert Houle and Wanda Nanibush in conversation with WAG-Qaumajuq Director & CEO Stephen Borys. Admission is FREE.
- Robert Houle: Red is Beautiful opens to the public on October 8, 2022 and runs to March 27, 2023. Learn more about this and other programming at wag.ca.
“Robert Houle is one of Canada’s leading contemporary artists — and his artwork has much to teach us about ourselves and reconciliation. The themes, symbolism, and artistry of his work converge with emotion-filled explorations of a range of subjects and stories. Coming full circle from his earliest solo show at the WAG decades ago to this major retrospective covering a brilliant 50-year career, presenting this exhibition in Winnipeg is an exciting opportunity for visitors to experience the scale and power of Houle’s artistic vision.”
— Dr. Stephen Borys, Director & CEO, WAG-Qaumajuq
“We are celebrating the incredible contributions artist Robert Houle has made to the trajectories of modern painting, to discourses on First Nations art and to the histories forgotten and erased. Houle has had a profound impact on our sense of freedom and been instrumental in understanding the gifts of the ancient ones. It is so important to bring his work to the WAG and to the lands that inspired him.”
— Wanda Nanibush, Curator of Indigenous Art, Art Gallery of Ontario
“Robert Houle: Red is Beautiful is a stunning exploration of the work of one of Canada’s most influential artists. I am elated that Indigenous people will see themselves reflected in the art of Mr. Houle and subsequently at WAG-Qaumajuq. The opportunity for white settlers to learn from the work of this iconic Canadian artist is one that cannot be missed, and I look forward to welcoming Mr. Houle to Winnipeg, located within his Nation’s homeland, alongside the Indigenous Nations of this territory.”
— Julia Lafreniere, Head of Indigenous Initiatives, WAG-Qaumajuq
WAG-Qaumajuq thanks programming partner CINUP for their support, as well as Canada Council for the Arts for their support of the exhibition while on tour.
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For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Public Relations Officer
Winnipeg Art Gallery
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