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2023 Projects

Woodland Boogie Woogie 6

Markham Museum

Varley Art Gallery

Markham, ON

Sep 23 - Jan 7, 2024


This exhibition features work by Native Art Department International (NADI) alongside pieces from the collections of the Varley Art Gallery of Markham and Markham Public Art. NADI is a long-term collaborative project founded in Brooklyn in 2016, and administered by Maria Hupfield and Jason Lujan. NADI works to avoid easy categorization by incorporating unannounced actions, curatorial projects, video screenings, paintings, and mixed-use installations.

The painting Woodland Boogie Woogie 6 exemplifies their collaborative work, which sees each artist taking turns to contribute to the large colorful abstract painting included in this exhibition. Their inspiration, and the name of their series, stems from the Woodland School of Art. The Woodland School’s approach was founded by Norval Morrisseau of the Anishinaabe Nation and taken up by other First Nation artists from the Great Lakes Region in the 1960s and 1970s. The style merged traditional imagery with elements of modern art and is defined by bold saturated colours and black curvilinear outlines. Focusing on the key aspects of the style, NADI abstracts the iconic colours and forms used by the Woodland School, in order to expand the visual language and continue the cultural conversation.