• MacCallum, James (Canadian, 1860–1943)

    An ophthalmologist in Toronto, Dr. MacCallum was a friend and patron of Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven. With Lawren Harris, in 1913 he planned and financed the Studio Building in Toronto as a place where artists could live and work. In 1914, by offering to support A.Y. Jackson and Tom Thomson for a year, he launched their careers as full-time painters. He bequeathed his collection to the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.

  • Macdonald-Wright, Stanton (American, 1890–1973)

    One of the first American abstract artists. He and Morgan Russell developed Synchromism while the two were living in Paris. Macdonald-Wright had a profound interest in East Asian art and lived in a monastery in Japan toward the end of his life.

  • MacDonald, J.E.H. (British/Canadian, 1873–1932)

    A painter, printmaker, calligrapher, teacher, poet, and designer, and a founding member of the Group of Seven. His sensitive treatment of the Canadian landscape was influenced by Walt Whitman’s poetry and Henry David Thoreau’s views on nature.

  • Macdonald, Jock (British/Canadian, 1897–1960)

    A painter, printmaker, illustrator, teacher, and a pioneer in the development of abstract art in Canada. Macdonald began as a landscape painter but became interested in abstraction in the 1940s, influenced by Hans Hofmann and Jean Dubuffet. Macdonald was one of the founders of Painters Eleven in 1953. (See Jock Macdonald: Life & Work by Joyce Zemans.)

  • machine aesthetics

    An aesthetics associated with 1920s and 1930s modernist architecture and design that embraces functionalism and streamlined forms, and reveals inner workings of the machine. This aesthetics emerged out of the great cultural changes of the Machine Age, including the introduction of mass production. The Bauhaus movement and Italian Futurism embody the major characteristics of machine aesthetics.

  • Mackay, D.C. (Canadian, 1906–1979)

    A Maritime illustrator and printmaker who trained internationally in London and Paris before settling permanently in Halifax. Mackay joined the Royal Canadian Navy in 1939, serving first as a lieutenant and later as a war artist. On returning he became the principal of the Nova Scotia College of Art (later the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design, now NSCAD University), and remained in the role until his retirement in 1971.

  • Mackenzie, Landon (Canadian, b. 1954)

    A Vancouver-based artist and teacher whose large-format abstract paintings are conceptually based while evoking natural forms. They are characterized by brilliant colours and often incorporate elements of collage, text, and map-making. Mackenzie teaches painting and drawing at Emily Carr University of Art + Design.

  • Macquarrie, Donald (Scottish, 1872–after 1934)

    Scottish landscape painter who studied at the Glasgow School of Art and likely opened a studio in Winnipeg in 1910. Macquarrie was appointed the first curator of the Winnipeg Art Gallery when it opened in 1912, shared a studio with Lionel LeMoine FitzGerald during this period, and taught at the Winnipeg School of Art from 1913 to 1914.

  • magic realism

    A term used for artistic or literary productions in which dreamlike, irrational, or supernatural elements appear in a realistic setting. This fusion of the real and the fantastic is found in the work of writers such as Gabriel García Márquez and painters such as Giorgio de Chirico, André Derain, and the Dadaists.

  • magnesium flare

    An early method of artificial lighting for photography. Magnesium powder had been used for this purpose in various problematic incarnations, including wires and flares, since 1859; not until 1887, when Adolf Miethe and Johannes Gaedicke mixed it with potassium chlorate, was the first widely useable flash powder created.

  • Magritte, René (Belgian, 1898–1967)

    A major figure in twentieth-century art, and one of the most important Surrealist painters. Magritte was introduced to Surrealism by André Derain and Paul Eluard while living in Paris in the late 1920s, and collaborated actively with the group through the 1930s. Among his many famous works are The Treachery of Images, 1928–29, and The Son of Man, 1964.

  • Mahias, Robert (French, 1890–1962)

    A prominent decorative artist in Paris, Mahias moved to Montreal in the 1920s, where he taught at the École des beaux-arts (now part of the Université du Québec à Montréal) and created artwork for churches in the United States and Canada. On his return to Paris he taught at the École des arts appliqués.

  • Malevich, Kazimir (Russian, 1878–1935)

    An important figure in the development of geometric abstraction, whose religious and mystical proclivities deeply influenced his wish to abandon, as an artist, the representation of the visible world. His radically austere Suprematist works were first shown in Moscow in 1915. Malevich resumed figure painting in the late 1920s.

  • mandorla

    An almond-shaped aureole of light that surrounds the figure of a holy person in religious art (typically Christian and Buddhist).

  • Manet, Édouard (French, 1832–1883)

    Considered a forerunner of the modernist movement in painting, Manet eschewed traditional subject matter for depictions of contemporary urban life that incorporated references to classic works. Although his work was critically dismissed, his unconventional painting style influenced the Impressionists.

  • Manitoba Society of Artists

    Established in 1902 and reinvigorated in 1925 as the western counterpart to the Ontario Society of Artists. Hay Strafford Stead served as the first president with Frank Armington and E.J. Ransom in other key roles. The society campaigned heavily for an art gallery and school in Winnipeg and arranged for works from outside the province to be shown. Today, the society exists as a vehicle to promote emerging and professional visual artists in Manitoba.

  • manitous

    Manitous or manidoogs are common to many Native groups in North American, including the Anishnabee. The sacred spirit-beings are tied to organisms, the environment, and events that help connect cultural narratives and their ways of being.

  • Manumie, Qavavau (Mannomee, Kavavaow) (Brandon/Kinngait, b. 1958)

    Qavavau Manumie began his artistic career as a skilled printmaker for the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative (now Kinngait Studios), translating other artists’ drawings into prints for publication. He later began concentrating more on his own compositions: imaginative and personal drawings in ink and coloured pencil that can have a surreal quality.

  • Manzoni, Piero (Italian, 1933–1963)

    A pre-Conceptual artist who took an ironic attitude to avant-garde art, questioning the nature of the art object itself and critiquing mass production and consumption in Italy after the Second World War. Manzoni was inspired by Yves Klein, the collective conscious, and materials considered too dirty for art. His most famous work is Merda d’artista (Artist’s Shit), 1961, in which he sealed what was presumably his own excrement in an edition of ninety cans and sold them at the market value of gold.

     

  • Marc, Franz (German, 1880–1916)

    A founder of Der Blaue Reiter (the Blue Rider), an association of German Expressionist artists, Marc was a painter and printmaker. His work, which features animals as embodiments of mystical energy, became increasingly abstract. He was killed in combat in the First World War.

  • Marie de l’Incarnation (French, 1599–1672)

    An Ursuline nun and missionary, and founder of the Ursuline Order in Canada. Wedded at fourteen and widowed at thirty-two, she took her orders on the death of her husband, entrusting her son to her sister. She left France for New France in 1639 in the company of fellow religious women. They would become the first female missionaries in North America. She never returned to France.

  • Marinetti, Filippo Tommaso (Italian, 1876–1944)

    A poet and theorist and the founder of the Italian Futurist movement. In addition to the “Manifesto of Futurism” (1909), Marinetti wrote plays, poems, and essays in French and Italian that were infused with the Futurist values of mechanical energy, speed, violence, and the destruction of the past. He was a vocal, prominent supporter of Benito Mussolini and one of the authors of the Fascist Manifesto (1919).

  • Martin, Agnes (American/Canadian, 1912–2004)

    An abstract painter known for her restrained canvases featuring grids and stripes in serene hues, Martin worked between Abstract Expressionism and Minimalism, adopting the latter’s formal language without emptying it of emotional resonance. Martin immigrated to the United States in 1931 and developed her artistic style in the creative circles of New Mexico and New York City.

  • Martin, David Stone (American, 1913–1992)

    A prolific and influential graphic designer and illustrator with a kinetic, calligraphic style, Martin was an artist correspondent for Time-Life during the Second World War. He is most renowned for having created hundreds of album portraits, especially for jazz musicians such as John Coltrane, Ella Fitzgerald, and Billie Holiday.

  • Martin, John (British, 1789–1854)

    A painter of apocalyptic scenes of Biblical history and natural disasters who achieved popular success but not critical acclaim during his lifetime. Martin’s work drew on Edmund Burke’s theory of the sublime, but was less subtle and technically accomplished than that of contemporaries like John Constable and J.M.W. Turner. However, his sensational scenes of catastrophe attracted large crowds of viewers and influenced the design of later cinematic epics.

  • Martin, John (Canadian, 1904–1965)

    A painter, watercolourist, printmaker, and illustrator and member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts and the Canadian Group of Painters, Martin taught design at the Ontario College of Art (now OCAD University) in Toronto. His work is held by the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.

  • Martin, Ron (Canadian, b. 1943)

    An abstract painter, Martin is concerned with the process and performance of artmaking. Since 1965 his paintings have been shown globally in solo and group exhibitions, including at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, and the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. 

  • Martin, Thomas Mower (British/Canadian, 1838–1934)

    Martin was principally a landscape painter. He immigrated to Canada from England in 1862. He soon established himself as a professional artist in Toronto, becoming a founding member of both the Ontario Society of Artists and the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. He produced landscapes in eastern Canada as well as in the United States, but is perhaps best known for the mountain landscapes he painted and exhibited after the Canadian Pacific Railway gave him and other artists free passes to travel west.

  • Masaccio (Italian, 1401–1428)

    An early Italian Renaissance master, whose signature use of light (to model his figures) and perspective (to situate them in three-dimensional space) influenced the development of Florentine painting. His Holy Trinity, 1427–28, a fresco in the church of Santa Maria Novella in Florence, exemplifies his innovative style. Masaccio died at the age of twenty-seven in Rome.

  • Masciuch, John (Canadian, b. 1944)

    An active member of the 1960s Vancouver art scene who creates light-and-sound sculptures. These are sometimes interactive, activated by the viewer’s body. Also known as John Neon, Masciuch began collecting neon tubes to use in his work beginning in the late 1960s, eventually amassing five thousand of them.

  • Masson, Henri (Belgian/Canadian, 1907–1996)

    Masson emigrated from Belgium to Canada as a teenager. In his early professional life he worked as an engraver, painting in the evenings. His first solo exhibition of paintings was at the Picture Loan Society in 1934. He exhibited internationally, and today his work is held in major institutions in Canada, including the Vancouver Art Gallery; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; and National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.

  • Mathieu, Georges (French, 1921–2012)

    A sculptor, designer, illustrator, and painter who became interested in abstract painting in the 1940s. Mathieu’s work is associated with several similar postwar European movements—including Tachism and Art Informel—that privilege geometric abstraction and spontaneous mark making, and which he helped to pioneer.

  • matiérisme

    A painting technique whereby successive layers of thickness and impasto are applied, and sometimes non-traditional matter, such as sand, gravel, plaster, or wax. The technique is generally associated with the European Art Informel movement of the 1950s and can be traced to the works of Jean Fautrier and Jean Dubuffet.

  • Matisse, Henri (French, 1869–1954)

    A painter, sculptor, printmaker, draftsman, and designer, aligned at different times with the Impressionists, Post-Impressionists, and Fauvists. By the 1920s he was, with Pablo Picasso, one of the most famous painters of his generation, known for his remarkable use of colour and line.

  • Matthews, Marmaduke (British/Canadian, 1837–1913)

    An oil and watercolour painter who immigrated to Toronto from England in 1860. He used free passes issued to artists by the Canadian Pacific Railway to make trips to western Canada in the 1880s and 1890s, producing several views of the mountains there. Matthews was also a founding member of the Ontario Society of Artists, later becoming president, and the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.

  • Mauve, Anton (Dutch, 1838–1888)

    A prominent figure of the Hague School of landscape painters, Mauve was a skilled colourist who specialized in rural scenes of cattle and sheep, and of peasants at work. As a teenager, he apprenticed with Pieter Frederik van Os, and later drew on the influences of Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot and the Barbizon school. He had a profound early impact on Vincent van Gogh, whom he taught and to whom he was related by marriage.

  • Maxwell, Edward and William S. (Canadian, 1867–1923 and 1874–1952)

    Born in Montreal, the brothers Edward and William S. Maxwell became partners in the former’s architectural firm in 1902 and left behind an urban legacy. The Maxwell buildings include Château Frontenac in Quebec City, the Saskatchewan Legislative Building in Regina, and the Art Association of Montreal, now the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

  • May, (Henrietta) Mabel (Canadian, 1877–1971)

    A modernist painter of landscapes, urban scenes, and portraits and figure paintings of women. May studied under William Brymner at the Art Association of Montreal, before spending time in Britain and France in 1912–13. After her return to Canada she was commissioned by the Canadian War Memorials Fund to depict women workers in munitions factories. May was an active member of Montreal’s Beaver Hall Group in the early 1920s, and a founder of the Canadian Group of Painters in 1933.

  • Mayan art

    Art derived from the Maya civilization, which emerged in the region of what is today Mexico and Central America. Mayans had advanced artistic practices, producing stone sculptures, painted ceramics, delicate figurines, jade jewellery, and masks. These art objects featured remarkable detail and colour.

  • McCarthy, Doris (Canadian, 1910–2010)

    Trained by members of the Group of Seven, McCarthy went on to produce hundreds of landscape and abstract paintings and educate generations of students over the course of her remarkable eighty-year career. She was the first female president of the Ontario Society of Artists.

  • McCord Museum

    A Montreal museum of local and national history, opened in 1921. Included in the McCord’s diverse collection is the Notman Photographic Archives: approximately 1.3 million photographs by William Notman, his studio employees, and other photographers from the 1840s to the present, as well as photographic equipment and related material.

  • McCurry, H.O. (Canadian, 1889–1964)

    An avid collector and advocate for the arts and art education in Canada, H.O. McCurry was patron to artist Tom Thomson and close with members of the Group of Seven. He was the assistant director of the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, from 1919 to 1939, and succeeded Eric Brown as director from 1939 to 1955.

  • McElheny, Josiah (American, b. 1966)

    McElheny is a glassblower, sculptor, and assemblage artist who crafts alluring glass objects, installations, and related films that question truth, history, and memory through the reflection and refraction of light. Many of his works explore the origins of the universe. In 2006, he received the MacArthur Fellowship, which honours originality in creative pursuits.

  • McEwen, Jean (Canadian, 1923–1999)

    Although he painted with the gestural and impasto techniques of the Automatistes, McEwen is properly called a post-Automatiste painter because of the more structured and rigorous procedures of his signature all-over surfaces of texture and variegated hues. In Paris in 1952–53, he came under the influence of Jean-Paul Riopelle and Sam Francis, and with them discovered the work of Claude Monet.

  • McInnes, Graham Campbell (Australian, 1912–1970)

    A diplomat and author, journalist, and broadcaster who immigrated to Canada in 1934, McInnes wrote several books, including A Short History of Canadian Art (1939).

  • McKague (née Housser), Yvonne (Canadian, 1898–1996)

    A painter and teacher, and a founding member of the Canadian Group of Painters and the Federation of Canadian Artists. Associated with the Group of Seven and the Art Students’ League, McKague painted Canadian landscapes in an increasingly abstract and expressionist style. She was awarded the Order of Canada in 1984.

  • McKaskell, Robert “Bob” (Canadian, b. 1943)

    A curator, author, and arts educator, in 1974 McKaskell taught contemporary art theory and criticism at the University of Western Ontario (now Western University) in London, Ontario. In 1990, he served as the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s academic curator and as professor at the University of Manitoba. He became Curator of Historical Art at the Art Gallery of Windsor, Ontario, in 1996. Since 2002, McKaskell has curated independent exhibitions.

  • McLaren, Norman (Scottish/Canadian, 1914–1987)

    McLaren began his career at General Post Office (GPO) in Scotland before following film producer John Grierson to the National Film Board in Canada. An innovative filmmaker, McLaren created abstract and animated films and experimented with techniques such as drawing directly on celluloid, cutout animation, and superimpositions. He created 72 films over the course of his career.

  • McLaughlin, Isabel (Canadian, 1903–2002)

    A modernist painter of landscapes and cityscapes. McLaughlin’s early paintings were influenced by the Group of Seven, though her work evolved toward a simplified aesthetic that integrated pattern and design. She was a founding member of the Canadian Group of Painters, becoming president of the society in 1939.

  • McLean, J.S. (Canadian, 1876–1954)

    A business leader and art patron who amassed a major collection of Canadian modern art from 1934 to 1954. The collection, particularly strong in work by A.Y. Jackson, Carl Schaefer, Paraskeva Clark, and David Milne, was the subject of an exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, in 1952 and at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, in 1999; it is today conserved in large part at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

  • McLean, Jason (Canadian, b. 1971)

    A London, Ontario–born artist whose highly personal paintings, sculptures, and drawings record his experiences in a spontaneous, cartoon-like idiom that combines text with recognizable figures and forms. His work is included in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, and the Vancouver Art Gallery, among many others.

  • McLuhan, Marshall (Canadian, 1911–1980)

    A media theorist and public intellectual who became an international star with his 1964 book Understanding Media and who garnered a committed following within the 1960s counterculture. His phrase “the medium is the message” has reached the status of popular aphorism. He developed and directed the Centre for Culture and Technology (now the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology) at the University of Toronto.

  • McMaster, Gerald (Plains Cree, Siksika First Nation, b. 1953)

    An artist, educator, and curator, McMaster has worked at national and international institutions, including the National Museum of Man (now the Canadian Museum of History) in Canada and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in the United States. His artwork, which juxtaposes contemporary pop culture and traditional elements, has been exhibited at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, and SITE Santa Fe, among others.

  • McNeely, Tom (Canadian, b.1935)

    A watercolour painter whose illustrative work was commissioned for television documentaries, print journalism, and books. Notably, McNeely illustrated the endpapers for many books by the popular Canadian historian Pierre Berton.

  • McNicoll, Helen (Canadian, 1879–1915)

    McNicoll is recognized for popularizing Impressionism in Canada. Born into a wealthy Anglophone family in Montreal, she studied with William Brymner at the Art Association of Montreal, at the Slade School of Fine Art in London, and worked in numerous artist colonies across Europe with her close friend and fellow artist Dorothea Sharp. Her works—depicting rural landscapes, childhood subjects, and modern women—are known for their bright quality of light. (See Helen McNicoll: Life & Work by Samantha Burton.)

  • Mead, Ray (British/Canadian, 1921–1998)

    A founding member of Painters Eleven, Mead was an Abstract Expressionist painter whose work, characterized by bold planes of colour, black and white shapes, and sophisticated composition, was inspired by his internal reflections on memories.

  • Medicine Art

    Developed by Norval Morrisseau and also called “Legend Art,” this is art created by the painters of the Woodland School. The term alludes to secret legends and healing power contained within the works’ images.

  • medicine bag

    Usually carried by shamans in North American Indigenous cultures, a medicine bag contains sacred items personal to its carrier and used in various rituals. Contents might include feathers, healing plants, stone pipes, or animal skins.

  • Mednikoff, Reuben (British, 1906–1972)

    An artist and poet who became the consort of Dr. Grace Pailthorpe. He introduced this influential teacher to the Surrealist technique of automatism. Mednikoff and Pailthorpe exhibited work at the International Surrealist Exhibition in London in 1936 and Andre Breton praised theirs as the best shown by British artists. Medinkoff, along with Pailthorpe, was also a founding member of the British Surrealist Group.

  • Mekas, Jonas (Lithuanian/American, b. 1922)

    Considered the godfather of American avant-garde cinema, Mekas began making 16mm films upon arriving in New York in 1949. He was instrumental in forging and advocating for the city’s underground film scene. He organized screenings, founded the journal Film Culture, co-founded the Anthology Film Archives, and collaborated with artists including Salvador Dalí, Allen Ginsberg, John Lennon, and Andy Warhol.

  • Mexican mural painting

    Commissioned by the Mexican government following the Mexican Revolution of 1910–20, Mexican mural paintings are highly visible public-art pieces that often depict common labourers and scenes of revolution. Prominent Mexican mural painters include José Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera, and David Alfaro Siqueiros.

  • mezzotint

    An engraving technique whereby a metal plate is systematically pricked with numerous tiny holes to produce a print with subtle gradations of dark and light, used often from the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries for reproducing paintings.

  • Michelangelo (Italian, 1475–1564)

    A sculptor, painter, architect, engineer, and poet during the High Renaissance, Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni was renowned during his lifetime and is considered one of the greatest artists in history. His best-known works include the sculptures David, 1501–04,  and Pietà, 1498–99, the frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, and his design for the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome.

  • Micipijiu (Michupichu)

    In Anishinaabe legend, this powerful water creature, “The Great Lynx,” lives in the Great Lakes and waters of the surrounding areas and can be a force of protection or destruction. Many images of Micipijiu can be found on rocks in the region, the most renowned on Lake Superior’s Agawa rock.

  • mide rites

    The formal, ceremonial rituals marking various passages of life for the Midewiwin, including birth, naming, first kill, puberty, marriage, and death.

  • Midewiwin

    A closed, ritual society mostly of Anishinaabe men, based in the upper Great Lakes region, the northern prairies, and some areas of the subarctic. Also called the Grand Medicine Society. The Midewiwin are responsible for their communities’ spiritual and physical health and healing.

  • Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig (German, 1886–1969)

    A leading twentieth-century architect, furniture designer, and teacher largely responsible for the development of modernist architecture. He was director of the Bauhaus from 1930 until he closed it, under pressure from the Nazis, in 1933. In 1938 he moved to Chicago, where he taught and practised into the 1960s.

  • Miller, Alfred Jacob (American, 1810–1874)

    A painter known for his Romantic depictions of the American West. Sweeping and dramatic or quietly intimate, these oil paintings of landscapes, fur trappers, and Indigenous peoples arose from the hundreds of watercolour sketches Miller made in the 1830s while part of an expedition to the Rocky Mountains.

  • Miller, Kenneth Hayes (American, 1876–1952)

    American painter of the urban genre and influential instructor who taught at the Art Students League in New York for forty years, beginning in 1911. Miller was inspired by Old Master techniques such as underpainting and glazing in his scenes of city life, such as, Union Square in New York City, salesgirls, members of high society, and department-store shoppers.

  • Millet, Jean-François (French, 1814–1875)

    Born into a peasant family, Millet was one of the founders of the Barbizon school, a group known for painting en plein air and favouring landscapes as subject matter. He is prominently recognized for empathetic depictions of rural labourers and peasants created just as the Industrial Revolution was causing mass migrations from the countryside to urban centres such as Paris. Millet was awarded the Legion of Honour in 1868 and was an inspiration for Vincent van Gogh.

  • Millman, Rose (Canadian, 1890–1960)

    A Montreal gallerist and founder of the Dominion Gallery of Fine Art in 1941, Millman was the first woman to open an art gallery in Quebec. In 1947 she relinquished control of the Dominion Gallery to Max Stern and established a second gallery, the West End Gallery, which closed in 1955 due to her failing health.

  • Milne, David (Canadian, 1881–1953)

    A painter, printmaker, and illustrator whose work—principally landscapes—displays the tonal brilliance and concern with process of his Impressionist and Post-Impressionist influences. Milne lived in New York early in his career, where he trained at the Art Students League and participated in the Armory Show in 1913.

  • Minimalism

    A branch of abstract art characterized by extreme restraint in form, most popular among American artists from the 1950s to 1970s. Although Minimalism can be expressed in any medium, it is most commonly associated with sculpture; principal Minimalists include Carl Andre, Donald Judd, and Tony Smith. Among the Minimalist painters were Agnes Martin, Barnett Newman, Kenneth Noland, and Frank Stella.

  • Mir Iskusstva (World of Art)

    An art group and subsequently the name of a journal edited by Sergei Diaghilev, founder of the Ballets Russes. In the group, artists with Symbolist and Aestheticist tendencies prevailed, but there was little stylistic coherence among its members. The group and the journal promoted individualism and unity in the arts.

  • Miró, Joan (Spanish, 1893–1983)

    A prolific artist and important figure in the history of abstract art in the twentieth century. Miró engaged with painting, sculpting, printmaking, and decorative arts, and throughout his long career sustained thematic interest in the influence of his native landscape on his artistic creation. French Surrealism influenced his work, though he is recognized to have developed his own deeply personal style.

  • Miskwaabik Animiiki (Copper Thunderbird)

    The Anishinaabe name given to Norval Morrisseau when he was gravely ill as a young man. In Anishinaabe cosmology, copper holds sacred strength and the Thunderbird is a powerful manitou, or spirit, of the sky world.

  • Mitchell, Joan (American, 1925–1992)

    Mitchell was a member of the later generation of Abstract Expressionists and known for multi-panelled paintings influenced by poetry, music, and nature. In the 1950s, her works became exclusively abstract though they retained a sense of perspective. In 1959, Mitchell moved to Paris and lived with the French Canadian painter Jean-Paul Riopelle for the next twenty years. After her death, the Joan Mitchell Foundation was established to sustain her legacy and provide support to artists.

  • modern dance

    An early-twentieth-century development of dance styles alternative to the decadence and rigidity of classical ballet. The movement arose mainly out of Germany and the United States with dancers such as Mary Wigman, Isadora Duncan, and Martha Graham. Modern dance abandoned the look of effortlessness for visceral effect and a sense that the dancer, often performing barefoot, was grounded in the earth. The early generation of modern dancers influenced the choreographers of the 1940s and 1950s, including Merce Cunningham and José Limon.

  • modernism

    A movement extending from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century in all the arts, modernism rejected academic traditions in favour of innovative styles developed in response to contemporary industrialized society. Modernist movements in the visual arts have included Gustave Courbet’s Realism, and later Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Fauvism, and Cubism and on to abstraction. By the 1960s, anti-authoritarian postmodernist styles such as Pop art, Conceptual art, and Neo-Expressionism blurred the distinction between high art and mass culture.

  • Modigliani, Amedeo (Italian, 1884–1920)

    A painter and sculptor of stylized, elongated, and melancholy portraits and nude figures, Modigliani is recognized for the sensuality and sexuality in his nude paintings of woman and for frank bodily depiction, considered vulgar by some during his time. His depictions of faces are mask-like but nonetheless provide psychological insight into his subjects. In 1906 Modigliani moved to Paris and became a central figure of the École de Paris circle of artists who created Fauvism, Cubism, and Post-Impressionism.

  • Molinari, Guido (Canadian, 1933–2004)

    A painter and theorist who was a member of the Plasticien movement in Montreal. His work, beginning in the mid-1950s, set new models for geometric painting internationally. His “razor-edged” Stripe Paintings create the illusion of a dynamic space, evoked by the viewer’s active engagement with how colours appear to change as they rhythmically repeat themselves across the canvas.

  • Mondrian, Piet (Dutch, 1872–1944)

    A leading figure in abstract art, known for his geometric “grid” paintings of straight black lines and brightly coloured squares, whose influence on contemporary visual culture has been called the most far-reaching of any artist. Mondrian saw his highly restrictive and rigorous style, dubbed Neo-Plasticism, as expressive of universal truths.

  • Monet, Claude (French, 1840–1926)

    A founder of the Impressionist movement in France. Monet’s landscapes and seascapes are among the canonical works of Western art. Introduced to plein air painting as a teenager, Monet returned to it throughout his life as a means of exploring the atmospheric effects and perceptual phenomena that so interested him as an artist.

  • monoprint

    A printmaking technique invented by Giovanni Castiglione around 1640 and revived in the late nineteenth century by, most notably, Paul Gauguin and Edgar Degas. A monoprint is produced by printing from a plate that is inked but otherwise untouched; the process typically yields only one good impression.

  • monotype

    A type of print resulting from a process that yields only one impression. A monotype is produced by drawing or painting an image directly onto a bare matrix and then transferring it to paper under the pressure of a printing press.

  • Moodie, Kim (Canadian, b. 1951)

    A contemporary artist known for his works on paper and canvas, Moodie uses dense and detailed imagery from toys, books, and early illustrations of North America to dissect symbols and narratives related to popular culture. He teaches painting and drawing at Western University in London, Ontario.

  • Moore, David (Irish/Canadian, b. 1943)

    A contemporary sculptor influenced by anthropology and the ancient past, Moore studied at the École des beaux-arts de Montréal and taught at Concordia University from 1970 to 2006. In 1977 he began a series of site-specific interventions into the places where past civilizations stood, including Pompeii, Italy; Delphi, Greece; and the Blasket Islands, Ireland. In 1986 Moore began to produce anthropomorphic figures, both small and monumental.

  • Moore, Henry (British, 1898–1986)

    One of the twentieth century’s most important sculptors. From its beginning, Moore’s work was influenced by non-European sculpture; later he also drew from natural sources, such as bones and pebbles. His technique most often involved carving directly into his material, whether wood, stone, or plaster.

  • Moreau, Gustave (French, 1826–1898)

    A painter and educator, Moreau prefigured the Symbolist and Surrealist movements. He painted biblical stories and mythology, suffusing his work with a sense of the mystical. He taught Henri Matisse, Georges Rouault, and Albert Marquet at the École des beaux-arts in Paris.

  • Morisot, Berthe (French, 1841–1895)

    A painter and printmaker who found success at the Paris Salons before becoming involved, in the late 1860s, with the fledgling Impressionist movement. She became one of its most significant figures, best known for paintings of domestic life.

  • Morisset, Gérard (Canadian, 1898–1970)

    A lawyer by training, Morisset soon left the profession to dedicate himself to the study and promotion of Quebec culture. He was the director of the Musée du Québec from 1953 to 1965, and his collection of data and documentation related to Quebec artwork, begun in 1937, remains a valuable resource.

  • Morrice, James Wilson (Canadian, 1865–1924)

    One of Canada’s first modernist painters and first artists to gain international recognition, during his lifetime Morrice was nonetheless more celebrated in Europe than he was at home. He is best known for richly coloured landscapes that show the influence of James McNeill Whistler and Post-Impressionism.

  • Morris, Edmund Montague (Canadian, 1871–1913)

    A painter best known for his portraits of Indigenous leaders during Canada’s post-Confederation treaty negotiations, especially of the early twentieth century, although he was also an admired landscape painter. In 1906 Morris, on commission, accompanied the James Bay expedition for the negotiation of Treaty 9 with Cree and Ojibway peoples. He often used pastel in detailed, close-up portraits of Indigenous chiefs. With fellow painter Curtis Williamson, Morris instigated the creation of the Canadian Art Club in 1907, of which he was a key member.

  • Morris, Kathleen (Canadian, 1893–1986)

    A painter especially noted for her urban and rural subjects. Morris studied at the Art Association of Montreal under William Brymner and Maurice Cullen. Although she does not appear to have exhibited with the Beaver Hall Group in the early 1920s, she is closely associated with the group. Her paintings of scenery in Montreal and Quebec City, as well as her depictions of the ByWard Market in Ottawa, exemplify the interest that she and her contemporaries had in chronicling modern city life.

  • Morris, Michael (British/Canadian, b. 1942)

    A versatile artist who has worked under multiple pseudonyms (including Marcel Dot and Marcel Idea) and in media from paint to video. Morris often works collaboratively and has emphasized the importance of artists’ networks throughout his career. Exemplifying this tendency is the Image Bank, a system for the exchange of information and ideas between artists, which he co-founded with Vincent Trasov in 1969. He (as Marcel Dot) was crowned Miss General Idea in 1971 in The 1971 Miss General Idea Pageant, 1971, an elaborate performance General Idea staged at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto.    

  • Morrisseau, Norval (Anishinaabe, 1931–2007)

    A painter known for depicting Anishinaabe legends and personal, hybrid spiritual themes with vibrant colours and strong lines, Morriseau was a crucial figure in introducing contemporary Indigenous art into the wider Canadian art scene. He founded the Woodland School and inspired a generation of younger First Nations artists. In 1978 Morriseau was appointed to the Order of Canada, and in 2006 the National Gallery mounted a major retrospective of his work. (See Norval Morrisseau: Life & Work by Carmen Robertson.)

  • Mortimer-Lamb, Harold (British/Canadian, 1872–1970)

    Although Lamb’s career was in the mining industry, he was also an art critic. In appreciative articles in The Canadian Magazine and Britain’s The Studio, to introduce the Group of Seven. As a photographer and collector of paintings, ceramics, and photography, he co-founded the Vanderpant Galleries in Vancouver and played a leading role in the Vancouver art scene. He helped found the Vancouver Art Gallery. (See Robert Amos’s 2013 book Harold Mortimer-Lamb: The Art Lover.)

  • Motherwell, Robert (American, 1915–1991)

    A member of the New York School, a major figure in Abstract Expressionism, and an influential teacher and lecturer, Motherwell employed the automatist technique to create many of his paintings and collages. Over the course of his career, he produced a series called Elegy to the Spanish Republic, 1957–61, inspired by the Spanish civil war.

  • Mousseau, Jean-Paul (Canadian, 1927–1991)

    A painter, illustrator, and designer, and a fervent advocate of integrating art into architecture. Mousseau was a favoured protégé of Paul-Émile Borduas and the youngest of the Montreal-based Automatistes. He was a prominent figure of the Montreal arts scene and worked in a range of media, including plastic, neon, and aluminum. 

  • Muhlstock, Louis (Galician/Canadian, 1904–2001)

    A painter and draftsman known for his sensitive and intimate representations of Depression-era Montreal. His celebrated talent for drawing comes through in his portraits, cityscapes, and interiors, which often show the effects of economic decline. He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1991.

  • Muir, Catherine Adah (1860–1952)

    Usually called Caterina or Cassy, Muir married the artist James Kerr-Lawson in 1889 and was an ardent promoter of his work. She was born in Scarborough, Ontario, but relocated to Europe with her mother and stepfather in 1887. She and Kerr-Lawson travelled and lived in England, Scotland, France, Spain, Italy, and Morocco. During the First World War she volunteered at Queen Mary’s Hospital for Nurses, in London.

  • Munch, Edvard (Norwegian, 1863–1944)

    Prefiguring the Expressionist movement, Munch’s work prominently represented the artist’s own emotions—fear, loneliness, sexual longing, and dread. A revered and prolific painter, printmaker, and draftsman, Munch is best known for his painting The Scream.

  • Munn, Kathleen (Canadian, 1887–1974)

    A modernist painter of landscapes, figures, religious subjects, and still lifes in a style influenced by Cubism, Post-Impressionism, and dynamic symmetry. Munn studied at the Art Students League of New York in 1912, where she was exposed to the American avant-garde. In the mid-1920s, Munn befriended artist Bertram Brooker, who became an important connection for her to the Group of Seven and key collectors. It was only after the artist’s death that her work became more recognized, owing largely to a recovery process led in the mid-1980s by Joyce Zemans at York University. (See Kathleen Munn: Life & Work by Georgiana Uhlyarik.)

  • Murray, Robert (Canadian, b. 1936)

    A New York–based, Saskatchewan-raised sculptor trained in Saskatoon, Regina, and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Murray moved permanently to the United States in 1960; the same year, Saskatoon awarded him the first of his many public commissions. His work is held by major institutions throughout the United States and Canada.

  • Musgrove, Alexander (Scottish/Canadian, 1882–1952)

    Scottish-born painter and art instructor specializing in watercolour. In 1913 he immigrated to Winnipeg, where he served as principal of the Winnipeg School of Art until 1921 when he opened his own school, the Western Art Academy. Musgrove was heavily involved in keeping the Manitoban art scene alive. He founded the Winnipeg Art Students Club (later the Winnipeg Sketch Club) in 1914, helped re-establish the Manitoba Society of Artists in 1925, and served as curator at the Winnipeg Art Gallery from 1932 to 1949.

  • Music Gallery

    A Toronto institution dedicated to the development, production, and presentation of experimental music, founded in 1976 by Peter Anson and Al Mattes, original members of the nine-piece “free-music orchestra,” the CCMC.

  • Muybridge, Eadweard (British, 1830–1904)

    A landscape and experimental photographer best known for his groundbreaking motion studies. From 1872—when he famously photographed the gait of Leland Stanford’s horse—to the 1890s, Muybridge made thousands of photographs capturing the movements of animals and humans; some 20,000 were included in the portfolio Animal Locomotion (1887).

  • Myre, Nadia (Algonquin, Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation, b. 1974)

    A multidisciplinary artist and member of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation, Myre explores issues of identity, language, loss, and desire in her practice. Her work often involves the participation of others, such as in her ongoing Scar Project (begun in 2004), which asks viewers to express their “wounds” through specific creative processes. Myre won the prestigious Sobey Art Award in 2014.

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