Robert Houle: Quillwork I-VII

July 5, 2018 – November 25, 2018
Quillwork I-VII (detail), acrylic, pastel and porcupine quills on paper mounted to panel, 1988, (suite of 7 panels labeled I-VII) 18 x 13 in., 46 x 33 cm. Collection of the MacLaren Art Centre. Collection of the MacLaren Art Centre. Gift of the John F. (Jack) Petch Family, 2014. Photo: André Beneteau
Robert Houle
Quillwork I-VII 
July 5 to November 25, 2018
Joan Lehman Gallery and online
Curator: Renée van der Avoird
Reception: Thursday, July 5, 7 to 9 pm

Senior artist Robert Houle is known for his distinctive brand of abstraction that blends traditions of modernist painting with elements of his Saulteaux heritage. Quillwork I-VII is a suite of seven paintings on panel recently acquired by the Gallery that combine gestural forms, vivid colour fields and porcupine quills. Intuitively composed, Houle’s abstractions evoke questions of identity and biculturalism, and consider the complex interweaving of colonial and Indigenous art histories.

A pivotal figure in contemporary Canadian art, Robert Houle is an Anishinaabe artist, curator, critic and educator active in the arts since the mid-1970s. He received a BA in Art History from the University of Manitoba and a BA in Education from McGill University. His work has been widely exhibited nationally and internationally. Houle was born in St. Boniface, Manitoba and currently lives in Toronto.