Passion Over Reason: Tom Thomson & Joyce Wieland

Passion Over Reason: Tom Thomson & Joyce Wieland pays tribute to two groundbreaking Ontario-born artists. The title of the exhibition is a deliberate reversal of former Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s oft-quoted personal motto, “Reason over passion”. Consider this exhibition to be a passionate love letter to Tom Thomson and Canada – two subjects at the core of this sesquicentennial year – and a conversation between masterworks by Thomson and by Canada’s feminist art pioneer Joyce Wieland.

Passion Over Reason will take a critical approach to Canada’s fascination with Tom Thomson, his status as a cult figure of masculine mystique, and the mystery and mythology of his life story that has cast a virile, woodsy painter as the embodiment of quiet, Canadian resilience.

For this special occasion, the McMichael will be bringing out virtually all of its holdings of Thomson’s paintings, drawings, photographs, and personal objects. A dynamic installation will present these works – some familiar, some unexpected – interwoven with works by Wieland, whose playful use of sex and humour addresses issues of ecology, patriotism and the pitfalls of nationalism.