Rebecca Belmore, Fringe

Rebecca Belmore, Fringe, 2008. Cibachrome transparency in fluorescent lightbox, 81.5 x 244.8 x 16.7 cm. National Gallery of Canada, Purchase, 2011. © Rebecca Belmore

Rebecca Belmore: Facing the Monumental

July 12 - October 21, 2018

This exhibition is included with general admission.

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“Playful and defiant” – Globe and Mail


Rebecca Belmore is one of the most important contemporary artists working along the border of art and politics today. Her poetic and beautiful works respond to the pressing issues of our time, including water and land rights, women’s lives and dignity, violence against Indigenous people by the state and police, and the role of the artist in contemporary life.

Rebecca Belmore: Facing the Monumental explores the artist’s lifelong commitment to the relation of politics and beauty in art, often expressed using natural materials, and the human form.

Belmore’s diverse yet cohesive body of work over the last thirty years has voiced an ethos of remembering the forgotten, listening to the marginal, speaking the silenced, and facing the monumental with passion, beauty, intuition, strength and humility.

The exhibition is organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario and curated by Wanda Nanibush, Curator, Indigenous Art.


Rebecca Belmore’s Wave Sound sculptures encouraged people to pause and listen to the wind and waterways. Listen to soundscapes recorded at the three locations: Lake Minnewanka’s shoreline in Banff National Park (Alberta); Lake Superior’s ridge at Pukaskwa National Park (Ontario, near Ojibways of the Pic River First Nation); and Green Point’s seaside cliffs in Gros Morne National Park (Newfoundland). You can also visit the sculptures on Level 1, in the Joey & Toby Tanenbaum Sculpture Atrium.


A member of Lac Seul First Nation (Anishinaabe), Rebecca Belmore is an internationally recognized multidisciplinary artist currently residing in Toronto. Rooted in the political and social realities of Indigenous communities, Belmore’s works make evocative connections among bodies, land and language. Her exhibitions: include Biinjiya'iing Onji (From Inside), documenta 14 (2017); KWE: The Work of Rebecca Belmore, Justina M. Barnicke Gallery (2011); Rebecca Belmore: Rising to the Occasion, Vancouver Art Gallery (2008); and Fountain, Venice Biennale (2005). Performances include: Facing the Monumental (2012); Victorious (2011); X (2010); Vigil (2002); Wild (2001), and Creation or Death We Will Win (1991). Belmore’s sculptures and installations include Wave Sound, Parks Canada, 2017; Trace, Canadian Museum for Human Rights (2014), and Ayum-ee-aawach Oomama-mowan: Speaking to Their Mother, (performances 1991, 1992, 1996 and 2008). Belmore received the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts in 2013, the Hnatyshyn Visual Arts Award in 2009, the Jack and Doris Shadbolt Foundation’s VIVA Award in 2004, and Honorary Doctorates from Emily Carr (2017) and OCADU (2005). Also in 2005, she was Canada’s official representative at the Venice Biennale. In 2016, Rebecca was awarded the prestigious Gershon Iskowitz Prize by the Gershon Iskowitz Foundation in partnership with the Art Gallery of Ontario.


Rebecca Belmore: Facing the Monumental provides ample room for Belmore’s larger works to breathe and for audiences to be immersed in her large sculptures, installations and photography. Some smaller, more intimate spaces will be home to individual media installations.

The exhibition draws attention to her use of natural materials and the tension between difficult subjects and beautiful aesthetics. Themes in her work include water, cultural freedom, homelessness, and violence against Indigenous men, women and communities.

Included are over 20 major sculptures, installations, photographs and performance-based works, with many works never before exhibited in a Toronto museum. Audiences can see famous favourites like Rising to the Occasion (1987–1989), Named and Unnamed (2002), and Fountain (2005), as well as a showcase of new works by the artist.


Facing the Monumental: Rebecca Belmore

Facing the Monumental presents 28 of her most famous works, including Fountain, her entry to the 2005 Venice Biennale, and At Pelican Falls, her moving tribute to residential school survivors, as well as numerous new and in-progress works. The book also includes an essay by Wanda Nanibush, Curator of Indigenous Art at the AGO, that examines the intersection of art and politics. It will accompany an exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario scheduled from 12 July to 21 October 2018.

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