1080 Keewatin St,
Thunder Bay, ON, P7B 6T7

The Drive exhibition banner image

The Drive

Anchored by the Art Gallery of Guelph’s major Tom Thomson canvas of the same title, the exhibition The Drive highlights the complexity of the representation of landscape —particularly as it relates to the land and its industrial transformation in Canada. Thomson’s The Drive (1916-1917) is considered one of his most significant paintings and captures logging activities in Algonquin Park, a frequent subject for the artist and one often overshadowed by his paintings of seemingly untouched landscapes. That industry was a primary shaper of the terrain Thomson made famous, situating the landscape as postindustrial, not the pristine wilderness it is so often perceived as.


The Drive, 1916-17,
Tom Thomson, University of Guelph Collection at
the Art Gallery of Guelph

Based on a sketch produced in the summer of 1916 when Thomson was employed as a fire ranger in the park, the canvas depicts a massive flow of timber emerging from a dam at Grand Lake near Achray on the eastside of Algonquin Park. The painting captures the intensity of logging in a park that had already been widely clear cut in Thomson’s day.

Complemented by the work of contemporary artists who have documented changing relationships with respect to the land to capture the effects of colonization on the environment, ecology, as well as sustainability, this exhibition offers access to stories that have typically been omitted and under represented within approaches to Canadian art. The resulting dialogue offers rich terrain for social impact, with an emphasis on education and outreach with a strong Indigenous and public focus.

The Drive features works by Sonny Assu, Christi Belcourt, Bob Boyer, Edward Burtynsky, A.J. Casson, Bonnie Devine, Robert Houle, Isuma, A.Y. Jackson, Sarah Anne Johnson, Arthur Lismer, J.E.H. MacDonald, Daphne Odjig, Kelly Richardson, Don Russell, Frank Shebageget, Tom Thomson, Peter van Tiesenhausen, Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun


Divest. no date,
Christi Belcourt & Isaac Murdoch, Courtesy of the artists


La drave

Bâtie autour du tableau majeur de Tom Thomson (collection du Musée d’art de Guelph) auquel elle doit son nom, l’exposition La drave met en lumière la complexité de la représentation du paysage, particulièrement en ce qui a trait à la terre et à sa transformation par l’industrie au Canada. Dans La drave (1916-1917), qui est considérée comme l’une de ses oeuvres majeures, Thomson représente des activités d’exploitation forestière dans le parc Algonquin. Il s’agit de l’un des sujets de prédilection de l’artiste, qui a souvent été éclipsé par ses tableaux montrant des paysages intacts en apparence. En réalité, l’exploitation forestière est une industrie qui a fortement façonné les reliefs rendus célèbres par Thomson, ce qui place ces paysages dans la catégorie postindustrielle, et non dans celle de la nature inviolée, contrairement à ce que beaucoup pensent.


Owi Bimibideg

Boonkanjigaadeg owi Mazinbiigan Desagodeg odi Guelph ado gichi Tom Thomson mazinibiigan naasaab ezhinikaadeg, owi waabanda’iwewin Owi Bimibideg waabmdowemigad owi maanzhi-aawan owi aawechigan owi aki ezhinaagwog —memdage agwa ezhi nowendaagwog owi aki miinwaa anankiiwin aanzinaagwog maampii Canada. Thomson ado Owi Bimibideg (1916-1917) nenjigaade bezhig memanji gichi aawang masinbiiganan miinwaa debibidoon matikike nankiiwin odi Algonquin Okogediwin, nitaa aawang owa mezinibiiged yaawong miinwaa apiichin aagwaatesin ado mazinibiiganan newen enendaagwog agaa bwaa binaajichigaadesnag aki. Owi nankiiwin agii aawan agaa zhinaagwog waakamig Thomson agaa waawiindaagwog, zhinaagwog owi kamig shkwaa nakiichigaadeg, gaawii baanaagwog waasekamig miniwaa-apii ezhi waamjigaadeg.



Curated by Shauna McCabe and Brian Meehan, The Drive is organized by the Art Gallery of Guelph with the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage, Government of Canada, as well as the Canada Council for the Arts and Ontario Arts Council. This circulating exhibition is presented in conjunction with Confederation Centre Art Gallery, Museum London, and Thunder Bay Art Gallery.


organized by



exhibition supported by the Museums Assistance Program, Exhibition Circulation Fund


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