Sobey Foundation donates massive Monkman painting to N.S. art gallery
"Miss Chief's Wet Dream" by Cree artist Kent Monkman is seen in an undated handout photo. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Joseph Hartman)
HALIFAX -- Renowned Cree artist Kent Monkman's sprawling contemporary painting depicting the collision of European and Aboriginal cultures has been donated to the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.
In a statement, the Halifax gallery says 'Miss Chief's Wet Dream' was acquired by the Donald R. Sobey Foundation and is one of the most important gifts the gallery has received.
The acrylic on canvas painting -- which measures 7.5 metres by 3.5 metres -- shows a canoe full of Indigenous people squaring off against and on a near-collision course with a raft carrying Europeans as seas rage around them.
The painting was inspired by two historical French paintings -- 'Raft of the Medusa' and 'Christ at Sea' -- and shows Jesus Christ, Queen Victoria, a horse and Marie Antoinette among a cast of others on the tilting raft.
The gallery says it is the largest work Monkman has produced and is his first to centre around a maritime theme.
Rob Sobey announced the donation at the opening of Monkman's "Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience" exhibition at the gallery.
The gallery says Monkman is known for his "provocative reinterpretations of romantic North American landscapes."
His various art forms often delve into issues around colonization, sexuality, loss and resilience as they relate to the Indigenous experience.
"This is one of the most important gifts of art received by the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia," Nancy Noble, the gallery's director and CEO, said in the statement. "The gallery seeks to present the most vital and engaging contemporary art from around the world, and Monkman's work is the embodiment of that sentiment."
'Miss Chief's Wet Dream' debuted internationally in May at the Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris.
It will hang in the gallery until Nov. 11 and then be placed in storage until it joins the permanent collection next May.