Art Windsor-Essex respectfully acknowledges that we are located on Anishinaabe Territory – the traditional territory of the Three Fires Confederacy of First Nations, comprised of the Ojibway, the Odawa, and the Potawatomi. Today the Anishinaabe of the Three Fires Confederacy are represented by Bkejwanong. We want to state our respect for the ancestral and ongoing authority of Walpole Island First Nation over its Territory.
ReAppearances: “Old Friends” from the AGW Collection
April 4, 2012 - February 1, 2015
Edmond Odette Family Gallery, 3rd floor, Louis Odette Family Gallery, 3rd floor
Frank Johnston, Nature’s Rug, Lake of the Woods, 1921, oil on board, 29.0 cm x 27.0 cm, Purchased with the assistance of the Ontario Ministry of Culture and Recreation through Wintario, 1979
Between 1975 and 1993, the Art Gallery of Windsor was housed in the lot adjacent to us now, in the “old bottling plant” at 445 Riverside Drive West. That site was one of the city’s first major initiatives in downtown urban renewal. In that home the Gallery’s collection occupied such a significant presence that its key artworks grew to become “old friends” to many supporters of the Art Gallery of Windsor. Our move to the Devonshire Mall was a major interruption to that legacy but we adapted there with less space in a non-climate controlled environment on a temporary basis. Our move to the present building in 2001 complicated things further as two generations of curators have worked to address a balance between the importance of a changing contemporary, modern and historical art exhibition program and display of the Gallery’s acclaimed permanent collection.
This exhibition occupying two main galleries on this floor celebrates the Gallery’s historic role in the formation of one of the most important public art collections in this country and works to remind visitors of its remarkable scope. It is the first phase in what is intended to be a much fuller commitment to the AGW collection within the next calendar year. We exhibit here a selection of those works which have held the test of time as noteworthy ones, and which have shaped the identity of this organization as a major public gallery collection containing works by some of the country’s most important artists. It is a collection through which understandings of cultural and personal identity can be enhanced and more fully understood.
From artist-members of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in the 1880s and 1890s, to those of the Group of Seven, and the Montreal Automatistes movement to artists working independently of such socio-artistic organizations, the exhibit celebrates several major milestones in the establishment and diversity of art practice in Canada. Art by the Inuit in northern Canada is included here alongside artist contemporaries from major urban centres in the southern borders and artists from the Prairies and Western Canada to recognize the Inuit as important producers of visual art alongside (not separate from) dominant Euro-Canadian artists. The objects here also demonstrate the variety of materials in which artists work and the pluralism of subjects and aesthetic questions they have explored.