(WINDSOR, ON) – “Powerful,” is one of the words used by the Art Gallery of Windsor to describe the creativity of Ojibwe artist Arthur Shilling. An exhibit of his last decade of work, entitled The Final Works, is now on display on the second floor of the gallery.
It includes an extensive collection of his portraiture, which the AGW says reflects, “contemporary identity politics within Indigenous culture. The portraits are colourful, and often even in some cases spontaneous.”
The exhibit includes his masterpiece 30ft-long mural, The Beauty of Our People. It brings forward a character study of infinite variety, both in its length and in the slightly abstracted detail of the assemblage of Indigenous people.
Shilling was born on the Chippewas of Rama First Nation Reserve, near Orillia, in 1941 and passed away in 1986. Included in the collection, on loan from the Art Gallery of Peterborough, is a single non-portrait piece portraying winter in the Sunshine City.
Even in the abstract nature of the work, Shilling mixes two aspects of modern day main street living; the red light of a stoplight and the majesty of the fallen snow.
The showing will continue until May 13.