Get the facts: Deanna Bowen: The Black Canadians (After Cooke)
Inaccurate stories have recently been shared by media representatives regarding Deanna Bowen’s forthcoming installation, The Black Canadians (after Cooke). They claim Deanna’s work “links the Group of Seven with white supremacy”. This is untrue and misleading. Facts matter.
Deanna Bowen is an award-winning artist who has for decades examined the foundations of Canadian mythology, which has been constructed at the expense of the missing stories of Indigenous and racialized Canadians.
Starting mid-July, visitors will discover how Deanna’s research-based approach, especially in her use of archival material, connects her own family’s difficult experiences as immigrants to larger historical narratives of British colonialism and anti-Black oppression of an earlier time in Canadian history.
Bowen includes images of members of the Group of Seven in her work because they were contemporaries of the people and events that impacted her family. As an artist, Bowen also situates her work in reference to the site and location in which a project is exhibited: in this case the National Gallery of Canada, its collection and archive.
With some 1,400 works by the Group of Seven in the National Gallery of Canada’s collection, hosting this installation is not a repudiation of these iconic artists. Within the context of The Black Canadians (after Cooke), the presence of the Group of Seven helps us to better understand Canada’s history through what they and their artwork represented.
We look forward to sharing Deanna Bowen’s installation with Canadians, which will be on display on the Gallery’s South façade from mid-July 2023 to Fall 2024.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Senior Officer, Media and Public Relations
National Gallery of Canada