Kent Monkman, the Cree artist known for epic paintings depicting themes of sexuality, colonization and Indigenous experience, has announced a solo exhibition in Toronto called Miss Chief’s Praying Hands.
Miss Chief – or Miss Chief Eagle Testickle – is Monkman’s gender-fluid alter-ego who makes appearances in many of his works, uprooting preconceived notions of Indigenous people while wearing Louboutin heels.
The show, which opens at Project Gallery (1210 Dundas East) on August 2, will mainly feature works from Monkman’s series The Rendezvous, which portrays revelrous interactions between Indigenous people and European settlers in the early to mid-19th century in North America.
Miss Chief is “the gender variance that was present in traditional Indigenous cultures across North America when the settlers arrived,” Monkman said in a statement on the show’s Facebook page. “She embodies the flawed and playful trickster spirit to tease out the truths behind life’s painful twists and turns. She is central to my work, reversing the gaze and representing an empowered antidote to colonized sexuality.”
Monkman is one of the country’s most well-known living painters. His solo exhibition Shame And Prejudice: A Story Of Resilience at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto last year was hugely successful. The works featured in the exhibition dug into Canada’s brutal treatment of Indigenous people and were presented alongside a selection of historical paintings and artifacts.
One of the paintings from the show appeared on the cover of NOW and we later named the exhibition our number one on our best art of the year list. He also debuted the monumental painting Two Ships last September at 6 Degrees Citizen Space.
Miss Chief’s Praying Hands runs to September 1 at Project Gallery. The opening reception takes place on August 2 from 6-9pm. Visit the gallery’s website for more info.
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