Quiz

Test your knowledge of Canadian art history with these ten questions.
Yes, that’s right!
Landscape was the most popular genre around 1880. Artists often portrayed Canadian landscapes to promote a distinctly Canadian identity through the power and grandeur of the country’s natural wonders.
In the foreground, a peaceful river is bordered by trees in autumn colours. Four figures in groups of two appear on the right bank. In the background, mountains with rounded peaks fill the horizon beneath a cloudy sky.

Allan Edson

(Stanbridge, Quebec, 1846 – Glen Sutton, Quebec, 1888)

 

Automne sur la rivière Yamaska, rang Sutton

[Autumn on the Yamaska River]

1872

Oil on canvas

75.5 x 122 cm

Purchased in 1948

Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec collection, 1948.107

Photo: MNBAQ, Patrick Altman

Sorry, that’s wrong!
Landscape was the most popular genre around 1880. Artists often portrayed Canadian landscapes to promote a distinctly Canadian identity through the power and grandeur of the country’s natural wonders.
In the foreground, a peaceful river is bordered by trees in autumn colours. Four figures in groups of two appear on the right bank. In the background, mountains with rounded peaks fill the horizon beneath a cloudy sky.

Allan Edson

(Stanbridge, Quebec, 1846 – Glen Sutton, Quebec, 1888)

 

Automne sur la rivière Yamaska, rang Sutton

[Autumn on the Yamaska River]

1872

Oil on canvas

75.5 x 122 cm

Purchased in 1948

Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec collection, 1948.107

Photo: MNBAQ, Patrick Altman

Yes, that’s right!
The Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (RCAA) is the oldest Canadian arts organization. Its inaugural exhibition was opened by Governor General John Campbell, Marquess of Lorne and 9th Duke of Argyll, on March 6, 1880.
In this print, several paintings are arranged on the wall behind a row of dignitaries in elegant ceremonial attire. At the centre of the platform stands a man in front of a throne. A crowd in the foreground is watching the ceremony.

L. Dumont

 

“Opening of the Canadian Academy of Arts at Ottawa. His Excellency Declaring the Exhibition Open”

1880

Canadian Illustrated News, March 20, 1880, Vol. 21, No. 12, p. 1

Library and Archives Canada, C-072872

Sorry, that’s wrong!
The Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (RCAA) is the oldest Canadian arts organization. Its inaugural exhibition was opened by Governor General John Campbell, Marquess of Lorne and 9th Duke of Argyll, on March 6, 1880.
In this print, several paintings are arranged on the wall behind a row of dignitaries in elegant ceremonial attire. At the centre of the platform stands a man in front of a throne. A crowd in the foreground is watching the ceremony.

L. Dumont

 

“Opening of the Canadian Academy of Arts at Ottawa. His Excellency Declaring the Exhibition Open”

1880

Canadian Illustrated News, March 20, 1880, Vol. 21, No. 12, p. 1

Library and Archives Canada, C-072872

Yes, that’s right!
Jack Bush was a member of Painters Eleven, not the Group of Seven. Working mainly in Toronto in the 1950s, Painters Eleven included artists like Hortense Gordon and Oscar Cahén who shared an interest in abstraction.
This painting presents four forms on a white background. A large brown mass and a smaller yellow one occupy the upper half of the canvas, while two bands, one blue and one red, zigzag across the lower half.

Jack Bush

(Toronto 1909 – Toronto 1977)

 

Salute to New York

1958

Oil on canvas

227.7 x 136.6 cm

Purchased in 1997

National Gallery of Canada, 38431

© Estate of Jack Bush / SODRAC (2018)

Photo: National Gallery of Canada

Sorry, that’s wrong!
Jack Bush was a member of Painters Eleven, not the Group of Seven. Working mainly in Toronto in the 1950s, Painters Eleven included artists like Hortense Gordon and Oscar Cahén who shared an interest in abstraction.
This painting presents four forms on a white background. A large brown mass and a smaller yellow one occupy the upper half of the canvas, while two bands, one blue and one red, zigzag across the lower half.

Jack Bush

(Toronto 1909 – Toronto 1977)

 

Salute to New York

1958

Oil on canvas

227.7 x 136.6 cm

Purchased in 1997

National Gallery of Canada, 38431

© Estate of Jack Bush / SODRAC (2018)

Photo: National Gallery of Canada

Yes, that’s right!
Molly Lamb Bobak, who enlisted in the Canadian Women’s Army Corps in 1942, was appointed a war artist in May 1945, shortly after Germany surrendered. Posted to Europe, she painted the experience of female troops stationed overseas. From 1942 on, she kept an illustrated diary of her adventures.
The page resembles a comic strip, with three illustrations accompanied by handwritten texts. The drawings show men and women in uniform chatting, having a drink and watching a horserace.

Molly Lamb Bobak

(Vancouver 1922 – Fredericton 2014)

 

Embarkation Leave (part 1), 1945 (from W110278: The Personal War Records of Private Lamb, M.”)

1942-1945

Watercolour, pen and black ink, Conté crayon and pencil on wove paper

45.6 x 30.5 cm

Gift of the artist

Library and Archives Canada, Accession number 1990-255-174, item 2000782350, BAC 174

© Estate of Molly Lamb Bobak. Photo: Library and Archives Canada

Sorry, that’s wrong!
Molly Lamb Bobak, who enlisted in the Canadian Women’s Army Corps in 1942, was appointed a war artist in May 1945, shortly after Germany surrendered. Posted to Europe, she painted the experience of female troops stationed overseas. From 1942 on, she kept an illustrated diary of her adventures.
The page resembles a comic strip, with three illustrations accompanied by handwritten texts. The drawings show men and women in uniform chatting, having a drink and watching a horserace.

Molly Lamb Bobak

(Vancouver 1922 – Fredericton 2014)

 

Embarkation Leave (part 1), 1945 (from W110278: The Personal War Records of Private Lamb, M.”)

1942-1945

Watercolour, pen and black ink, Conté crayon and pencil on wove paper

45.6 x 30.5 cm

Gift of the artist

Library and Archives Canada, Accession number 1990-255-174, item 2000782350, BAC 174

© Estate of Molly Lamb Bobak. Photo: Library and Archives Canada

Yes, that’s right!
The manifesto Refus global (Total Refusal) was published on August 9, 1948, in Montréal by a group of artists called the Automatistes. Paul-Émile Borduas, Fernand Leduc, Jean Paul Riopelle and Françoise Sullivan were among the sixteen manifesto signers.
The title “Refus global” is handwritten vertically in red ink on the title page of a book pamphlet. It is visible between the half-open flaps of the cardboard cover, which are decorated with non-figurative motifs in black and white.

Jean Paul Riopelle

(Montréal 1923 – Isle-aux-Grues, Quebec, 2002)

Pierre Gauvreau

(Montréal 1922 – Montréal 2011)

 

Cover of Refus global 

[Total Refusal]

1948

Ink on paper
21.5 x 18.5 cm
Paul-Émile Borduas (Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, 1905 – Paris 1960) and other signers, Refus global, Saint-Hilaire, Éditions Mithra-Mythe, 1948
Collection of Françoise Sullivan
© Estates of Jean Paul Riopelle and Pierre Gauvreau / SODRAC (2018)
Photo: Galerie de l’UQAM

Sorry, that’s wrong!
The manifesto Refus global (Total Refusal) was published on August 9, 1948, in Montréal by a group of artists called the Automatistes. Paul-Émile Borduas, Fernand Leduc, Jean Paul Riopelle and Françoise Sullivan were among the sixteen manifesto signers.
The title “Refus global” is handwritten vertically in red ink on the title page of a book pamphlet. It is visible between the half-open flaps of the cardboard cover, which are decorated with non-figurative motifs in black and white.

Jean Paul Riopelle

(Montréal 1923 – Isle-aux-Grues, Quebec, 2002)

Pierre Gauvreau

(Montréal 1922 – Montréal 2011)

 

Cover of Refus global 

[Total Refusal]

1948

Ink on paper
21.5 x 18.5 cm
Paul-Émile Borduas (Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, 1905 – Paris 1960) and other signers, Refus global, Saint-Hilaire, Éditions Mithra-Mythe, 1948
Collection of Françoise Sullivan
© Estates of Jean Paul Riopelle and Pierre Gauvreau / SODRAC (2018)
Photo: Galerie de l’UQAM

Yes, that’s right!
When Canada participated in the Venice Biennale for the first time, in 1952, it was represented by David B. Milne, Alfred Pellan and Goodridge Roberts. In 1958, Anne Kahane became the first female artist to represent Canada.
This close-up painting depicts a forest floor of tangled rocks and tree trunks in the foreground. The composition is so close to abstraction that it is difficult to discern a landscape in the winding green lines and areas of flat black, grey and white.

David B. Milne

(Burgoyne, Ontario, 1882 – Bancroft, Ontario, 1953)

 

The Boulder

1916

Oil on canvas

61.7 x 66.7 cm

Purchased with the support of the Women’s Committee and The Winnipeg Foundation, 1962

Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery, G-62-12

Photo: Ernest Mayer

Sorry, that’s wrong!
When Canada participated in the Venice Biennale for the first time, in 1952, it was represented by David B. Milne, Alfred Pellan and Goodridge Roberts. In 1958, Anne Kahane became the first female artist to represent Canada.
This close-up painting depicts a forest floor of tangled rocks and tree trunks in the foreground. The composition is so close to abstraction that it is difficult to discern a landscape in the winding green lines and areas of flat black, grey and white.

David B. Milne

(Burgoyne, Ontario, 1882 – Bancroft, Ontario, 1953)

 

The Boulder

1916

Oil on canvas

61.7 x 66.7 cm

Purchased with the support of the Women’s Committee and The Winnipeg Foundation, 1962

Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery, G-62-12

Photo: Ernest Mayer

Yes, that’s right!
Performance art emerged in the 1960s as a practice based on the body, time and space. It is an ephemeral art form that most often subsists only through documentation.
Three women wearing naked-muscle-man bodysuits and fright wigs are flaunting giant fake guitars. Standing spread-legged and pumping their right fists, they are imitating a rock band giving a show. Their faces are contorted in rebellious victory.

The Clichettes

(Louise Garfield, Janice Hladki and Johanna Householder, 1978-1992)

 

Go to Hell

1985

Video-performance
2 min 15 sec
Video: courtesy of the artists and Vtape
© The Clichettes

Sorry, that’s wrong!
Performance art emerged in the 1960s as a practice based on the body, time and space. It is an ephemeral art form that most often subsists only through documentation.
Three women wearing naked-muscle-man bodysuits and fright wigs are flaunting giant fake guitars. Standing spread-legged and pumping their right fists, they are imitating a rock band giving a show. Their faces are contorted in rebellious victory.

The Clichettes

(Louise Garfield, Janice Hladki and Johanna Householder, 1978-1992)

 

Go to Hell

1985

Video-performance
2 min 15 sec
Video: courtesy of the artists and Vtape
© The Clichettes

Yes, that’s right!
Agnes Martin worked mainly in New York and New Mexico, but she was born in Macklin, Saskatchewan. Louise Bourgeois, Kiki Smith and Mona Hatoum were born respectively in France, Germany and Lebanon.
A grid is hand-drawn in pencil on a square, ochre-coloured canvas. Most of the grid, which mirrors the proportions of the canvas, is filled in with white dots.

Agnes Martin

(Macklin, Saskatchewan, 1912 – Taos, New Mexico, 2004)

 

The Islands

1961

Oil and graphite on canvas

182.88 x 182.88 cm 

Courtesy of the Pace Gallery

© Estate of Agnes Martin / SODRAC (2018)

Photo: Pace Gallery   

Sorry, that’s wrong!
Agnes Martin worked mainly in New York and New Mexico, but she was born in Macklin, Saskatchewan. Louise Bourgeois, Kiki Smith and Mona Hatoum were born respectively in France, Germany and Lebanon.
A grid is hand-drawn in pencil on a square, ochre-coloured canvas. Most of the grid, which mirrors the proportions of the canvas, is filled in with white dots.

Agnes Martin

(Macklin, Saskatchewan, 1912 – Taos, New Mexico, 2004)

 

The Islands

1961

Oil and graphite on canvas

182.88 x 182.88 cm 

Courtesy of the Pace Gallery

© Estate of Agnes Martin / SODRAC (2018)

Photo: Pace Gallery   

Yes, that’s right!
The Inuit artist Annie Pootoogook is known not for sculptures but for coloured-pencil drawings in a unique style that depict everyday life in Cape Dorset. Liz Magor, Edward Poitras and Geoffrey Farmer are known for their sculpture work.
This drawing in pale colours shows a bedroom. A woman seen in profile is sitting in bed drawing the landscape she sees through the window. Various items hang on the wall and lie on the floor beside the bed.

Annie Pootoogook

(Cape Dorset, Nunavut, 1969 – Ottawa 2016)

 

My Grandmother, Pitseolak, Drawing

2002

Coloured pencil and ink on paper

46.5 x 52.5 cm

Dorset Fine Arts

© Dorset Fine Arts. Photo: Dorset Fine Arts

Sorry, that’s wrong!
The Inuit artist Annie Pootoogook is known not for sculptures but for coloured-pencil drawings in a unique style that depict everyday life in Cape Dorset. Liz Magor, Edward Poitras and Geoffrey Farmer are known for their sculpture work.
This drawing in pale colours shows a bedroom. A woman seen in profile is sitting in bed drawing the landscape she sees through the window. Various items hang on the wall and lie on the floor beside the bed.

Annie Pootoogook

(Cape Dorset, Nunavut, 1969 – Ottawa 2016)

 

My Grandmother, Pitseolak, Drawing

2002

Coloured pencil and ink on paper

46.5 x 52.5 cm

Dorset Fine Arts

© Dorset Fine Arts. Photo: Dorset Fine Arts

Yes, that’s right!
Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller are a real artist team. For the past twenty years, they have collaborated on projects while pursuing solo careers. The installation The Paradise Institute is one of their works.
This black and white photo shows the inside of a movie theatre where a film is projected. The close-up of a face appears on the screen.

Janet Cardiff

(b. Brussels, Ontario, 1957)

George Bures Miller

(b. Vegreville, Alberta, 1960)

 

The Paradise Institute (inside view)

2001

DVD player, video projector, electronic controls, amplifier, film screen, 16 headsets, 13-minute digital video disk (DVD), 16 theatre seats, synthetic carpet, halogen and incandescent lamps, wood, plywood, retail trade oil paint, polystyrene and fabric
300 x 511 x 121 cm
Gift of an anonymous donor, 2002
National Gallery of Canada, 41156
© Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller. Photo: National Gallery of Canada

Sorry, that’s wrong!
Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller are a real artist team. For the past twenty years, they have collaborated on projects while pursuing solo careers. The installation The Paradise Institute is one of their works.
This black and white photo shows the inside of a movie theatre where a film is projected. The close-up of a face appears on the screen.

Janet Cardiff

(b. Brussels, Ontario, 1957)

George Bures Miller

(b. Vegreville, Alberta, 1960)

 

The Paradise Institute (inside view)

2001

DVD player, video projector, electronic controls, amplifier, film screen, 16 headsets, 13-minute digital video disk (DVD), 16 theatre seats, synthetic carpet, halogen and incandescent lamps, wood, plywood, retail trade oil paint, polystyrene and fabric
300 x 511 x 121 cm
Gift of an anonymous donor, 2002
National Gallery of Canada, 41156
© Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller. Photo: National Gallery of Canada