• N.E. Thing Co.

    The incorporated business and artistic handle of IAIN BAXTER& and Ingrid Baxter, N.E. Thing Co. was founded by the couple in 1966 as a way to explore the interactions between their daily lives and various cultural systems. The artworks produced by the N.E. Thing Co. are among the earliest examples of Conceptual art in Canada. It was disbanded in 1978.

  • Nabis

    Also called the Pont-Aven School. A group of young Post-Impressionist artists, including Pierre Bonnard and Édouard Vuillard, who met at the Lycée Condorcet in Paris, established themselves as a movement in the decade 1880–90, and remained active until 1900. The Nabis (from the Hebrew nebiim, meaning “prophets” or “visionaries”) shared the Symbolists’ belief that objects in nature represent ideas, and that the visible is the manifestation of the invisible. Their most important contribution to painting was an abstract, rhythmic organization of figures and ground on the surface of the canvas.

  • Nabis painting

    Painting created by the artistic group called the Nabis, who shared a preference for simplified forms, pure colours, and flattened perspective. Their interest in discovering the sources of pure art led them to calligraphy, Japanese prints, religious images, and ephemera such as posters, signs, illustrations, and other commercial graphics.

  • Nadar (Gaspard-Félix Tournachon) (French, 1820–1910)

    A photographer and balloonist who ran a successful photography studio in Paris, where he took portraits of leading society figures in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He famously commissioned the hot-air balloon Le Géant and became the first to take aerial photographs.

  • naïve art

    A term denoting art made by self-taught artists who eschew any style or school in favour of a more personal idiom. It was first used to describe the work of Henri Rousseau at the end of the nineteenth century.

  • Naka’pankam (Mungo Martin) (Kwakwaka’wakw, 1879–1962)

    A leading Kwakwaka’wakw artist, Naka’pankam was known principally as a carver. Despite the oppressive potlatch ban, he maintained traditions of carving, creating new totem poles and overseeing the totem pole restoration program at the University of British Columbia. He became a mentor to several artists, including Henry Hunt and Bill Reid.

  • Nakamura, Kazuo (Canadian, 1926–2002)

    A member of Painters Eleven, Nakamura embraced science and nature in his early abstract landscapes. Later, he created a body of work known as the Number Structures, which explores the connections between mathematics and aesthetics. The Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto held a posthumous retrospective of his work in 2004. (See Kazuo Nakamura: Life & Work by John G. Hatch)

  • Nanibush, Wanda (Anishinaabe-kwe, Beausoleil First Nation, b. 1976)

    A visual artist, writer, curator, and activist, Nanibush was the first assistant curator of Canadian and Indigenous art at the Art Gallery of Ontario and in 2017 became Curator of Indigenous Art at the gallery. Through her work, Nanibush has highlighted, among other aspects, social-political-cultural struggles; land, water, and human relations; and the creation of an art history based on First Nations methodologies.

  • Nanking porcelain

    Nanking (Pinyin: Nanjing) porcelain was produced for export during the Qing dynasty, but especially during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Characterized by its blue-and-white designs depicting traditional Chinese motifs, it was shipped from Nanjing to European markets.

  • Nantel, Arthur (Canadian, 1874–1948)

    A self-taught painter and a member of the 14th Royal Montreal Battalion, Nantel spent several years imprisoned in a prisoner of war camp in Giessen, Germany after being captured in 1915. His camp paintings offer glimpses of prisoner experiences during the First World War. Following his release in 1918, Nantel worked as an illustrator for United Artists Studios (now United Artists Digital Studios) in New York.

  • Nash, Paul (British, 1889–1946)

    Nash was a landscape painter whose semi-abstract scenes drew on the work of Italian artist Giorgio de Chirico and the Surrealists. He founded the British art group Unit One in 1933 to promote modernist art, architecture, and design in England and was one of the organizers of the International Surrealist Exhibition in London, U.K., in 1936. Nash was an official British war artist in both world wars.

  • National Film Board (NFB) Still Photography Division

    Between 1941 and 1971, the National Film Board, widely known for producing documentary, animated, and feature films, also functioned as the nation’s official photographer. Funded by the federal government, the Still Photography Division commissioned photographers to produce approximately 250,000 images that captured communities, labour, and cultural traditions across the country.

  • National Film Board of Canada

    Founded in Ottawa in 1939, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is a federal agency that creates, conserves, and distributes the nation’s audiovisual heritage. The NFB has produced more than thirteen thousand individual documentaries, animated films, and other works that have garnered more than seven thousand awards, both nationally and internationally.

  • National Gallery of Canada

    Established in 1880, the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa holds the most extensive collection of Canadian art in the country as well as works by prominent international artists. Spearheaded by the Marquis of Lorne (Canada’s Governor General from 1878 to 1883), the gallery was created to strengthen a specifically Canadian brand of artistic culture and identity and to build a national collection of art that would match the level of other British Empire institutions. Since 1988, the gallery has been located on Sussex Drive in a building designed by Moshe Safdie.

  • naturalism

    Naturalism was a development within the realist art of the nineteenth century that sought to show the forces and effects of nature in human life, rejecting the idealized classical subjects preferred by the academy. Naturalism favoured an accurate documentation of the real life of people in the streets and at work or at leisure, showing even the ugly, painful sides of existence.

  • Naudin, Bernard (French, 1876–1946)

    A painter, printmaker, and educator. Naudin taught at the Académie Colarossi in Paris from 1912 to 1921. Known also for his political beliefs, Naudin advocated for social justice with his work.

  • Nauman, Bruce (American, b. 1941)

    A major contemporary artist whose diverse conceptual oeuvre explores the meaning, nature, and experience of artworks as well as of human existence. Perhaps best known for his neon signs of the 1960s and 1970s, Nauman has also created performance pieces, films, sculptures, photographs, prints, and holograms.

  • Nazarenes

    The Nazarenes were a group of early nineteenth-century German painters who practised in Rome. They were inspired by Italian artists of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, including Raphael and Michelangelo. They rejected the academic system in favour of the medieval workshop and lived together, creating naturalistic paintings of religious subjects. Their return to an archaic style of painting was criticized by romantic modernists such as Goethe, yet they were an important influence on the English Pre-Raphaelites.

  • Neel, Alice (American, 1900–1984)

    Primarily a portrait painter, Neel created expressionistic and vulnerable images of her romantic partners, friends, and neighbours in Spanish Harlem beginning in the 1930s; she later completed portraits of many important figures in the New York art scene of the 1960s. She was concerned with poverty and social issues, and completed a number of works documenting the residents of Greenwich Village for the Works Progress Administration (WPA) during the Great Depression. Many of her paintings depicted families or mothers and children, and she completed a number of nudes, including portraits of friends at various stages of their pregnancies and a self-portrait at the age of 81.

  • Neel, Ellen (Kakaso’las) (Kwakwaka’wakw, 1916–1966)

    Many members of Neel’s family were carvers, including her uncle, Naka’pankam (Mungo Martin). Neel studied with her grandfather, Charlie James (Yakuglas). She became an artist and activist in the 1940s, and she was particularly known for a totem pole design that features a Thunderbird above a globe.

  • negative space

    An unoccupied pictorial space between and around the subjects of an image. Negative space is sometimes used to also create pertinent shapes within a work.

  • Nelligan, Émile (Canadian, 1879–1941)

    A pioneer of French-Canadian poetry whose body of work includes 170 poems, sonnets, and songs written between the ages of sixteen and nineteen. Nelligan was a melancholy and nostalgic poetic voice who explored his inner world rather than the traditional themes of patriotism and landscape. In 1897 he joined the École littéraire de Montréal, a group of young writers concerned with the declining state of the French language. In 1899 Nelligan was admitted to the Saint-Benoît asylum and remained in hospitals for the remainder of his life.

  • neo-colonial

    Adopted following the Second World War, the term “neo-colonial” refers to policies, actions, and economies designed to produce colonial-style dependencies between nations after former colonies gained independence. Such dependencies are exploitative relationships. In contemporary Canada the term refers to laws, institutions, practices, and attitudes that perpetuate the treatment of Indigenous Canadians as colonized and exploited peoples.

  • Neo-Dada

    A term for the constellation of experimental and conceptual artworks and styles of the 1950s and 1960s, from Fluxus to Pop art. It was popularized by the art historian and critic Barbara Rose. Like their Dadaist predecessors, Neo-Dada artists were primarily interested in social, art historical, and aesthetic critique.

  • Neo-Expressionism

    An art movement that embraced narrative and highly gestural brushwork, Neo-Expressionism bridged the transition between modernism and postmodernism. Leading Neo-Expressionist artists included Philip Guston, Julian Schnabel, and Christopher Le Brun, who were reacting to the emotional distance of Minimalism and Conceptual art. This revival of Expressionism took hold internationally, and by the late 1970s came to be associated with a group of German artists known as Neue Wilden (literally, “New Wild Ones”) or new Fauves.

  • Neo-Gothic

    The Neo-Gothic is an architectural style that appeared during the middle of the eighteenth century in England and marks a revival of interest in the architecture of the Middle Ages. The style emphasizes ornamentation, motifs, and forms reminiscent of medieval Gothic cathedrals. The Neo-Gothic style was popular in Canada between 1860 and 1940, and often used in academic and religious architecture.

  • Neo-Impressionism

    When in 1886 Georges Seurat’s Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte was exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants in Paris, the critic Félix Fénéon described it as “Neo-Impressionist.” The Neo-Impressionists based their art on the science of optics, colour, and light. Using dots and strokes of pure colour, they aimed to create a “grand synthesis of the ideal and the real,” by disciplined, scientifically based artistic methods.

  • Neo-Plasticism

    Piet Mondrian’s term for his highly reduced mode of abstract art, characterized by black grid structures organizing tautly balanced flat planes of colour, using only the three primary colours, as well as white. Neo-Plasticism profoundly influenced the advancement of geometric art throughout Europe and spread to the United States, where Mondrian moved in 1940. It later inspired the Montreal Plasticiens.

  • Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity)

    A movement in German modern art that embraced realist representation as a means of social criticism, often employing brutal satire. Neue Sachlichkeit, or New Objectivity, emerged after the First World War as an artistic response that rejected the avant-garde forms in favour of traditional approaches. Prominent Neue Sachlichkeit artists were Otto Dix, George Grosz, Max Beckmann, George Schrimpf.

  • Neutral (Attawandaron)

    The Neutral Confederacy existed prior to the mid-seventeenth century as a political and cultural union of several Indigenous nations spanning southwestern Ontario, across the Niagara River to New York. The Neutral, a name used by Samuel Champlain, or Attawandaron, a name used by the Huron-Wendat, were eventually dispersed by the Seneca and absorbed into Haudenosaunee communities. 

  • New British Sculpture

    Refers to a group of British artists who exhibited together in the early 1980s. In reaction to the pared-down, austere style employed by the Minimalist movement, they favoured a return to the use of traditional sculptural mediums such as rock and marble, as well as the incorporation of textured and non-symmetrical shapes, assemblage, and organic and natural materials. Major figures include Tony Cragg, Richard Deacon, Shirazeh Houshiary, and Anish Kapoor.

  • New Dance Group

    Established in New York in 1932 by students of Hanya Holm, New Dance Group (NDG) fused modern dance with left-wing politics, using dance as a force for social change. Committed to social justice, the school offered inexpensive classes in technique, improvisation, and Marxist thought. It became known as one of the first mainstream dance schools to support African-American dancers and choreographers, including Pearl Primus, and for its curriculum that incorporated multiple dance influences. The school closed in 2009.

  • New English Art Club

    Formed in London, England, in 1886 as a rejection of the conservative style of the Royal Academy of Arts. The New English Art Club was composed of a group of artists influenced by Impressionism, with early members including James McNeill Whistler, Walter Sickert, Philip Wilson Steer, and John Singer Sargent. The club still exists today to promote painting from the direct observation of nature and the human figure.

  • New France

    France’s Canadian colony, now in part the province Quebec. New France was founded in 1534 when Jacques Cartier, the first explorer to claim the territory for the King of France, planted a cross on the Gaspé peninsula. The colony was dissolved in 1763, when France ceded Canada to Britain.

  • New School of Art in Toronto

    The New School of Art was founded as an alternative to the more conservative Ontario College of Art (now Ontario College of Art and Design University) in 1965. It required no prerequisites and operated through loosely structured workshops, attracting students and instructors associated with Toronto’s Spadina art scene.

  • New Spanish Realists

    Members of a national art movement predicated on detailed realism and the objective revelation of emotion. Its American counterpart was Photorealism. The movement began in Madrid in the early 1960s, developed by Antonio López García, Julio Hernández, Francisco López, and Isabel Quintanilla.

  • New Vision

    An artistic movement, largely based in photography, that emerged in the 1920s and was inspired by the innovative, modernist designs of the Bauhaus art school. Practitioners embraced the technical qualities of the photographic medium, experimenting with contrasting shades of light and dark, unusual choices in cropping and framing, and varying camera angles and perspectives. Notable figures included Alexander Rodchenko, László Moholy-Nagy, and Walter Peterhans.

  • New Woman

    A term used from the late nineteenth to early twentieth centuries, borne out of the burgeoning feminist and suffrage movements of the era. It referred to independent women who embraced changing gender ideals and took a more active role in public life and the workplace, as well as within the educational and political spheres of society.

  • New York Correspondance School [sic]

    The first mail art network, initiated by Ray Johnson in the mid-1950s. Members exchanged objects and messages through the post. By the 1970s mail art had grown into an international movement, with artists corresponding through similar networks around the world.

  • New York School

    The group of avant-garde painters based in New York City in the 1940s and 1950s whose activities led that city to replace Paris as the capital of the modern art world. Chiefly Abstract Expressionists, the principal artists of the New York School include Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, and Mark Rothko.

  • Newhall, Beaumont (American, 1908–1993)

    An art historian, curator, and critic, whose importance to the institutional history of photography is unparalleled. Author of the seminal History of Photography: From 1839 to the Present (1937), Newhall was the first director and curator of the photography department at the Museum of Modern Art, New York—the first such department at any museum.

  • Newman, Barnett (American, 1905–1970)

    A key proponent of Abstract Expressionism, known primarily for his colour-field paintings. In his writing from 1940, Newman argued argue for a break from European artistic traditions in favour of adopting techniques and subject matter more suited to the troubled contemporary moment, and for the expression of truth as he saw it.

  • Newton, Alison (Scottish/Canadian, 1890–1967)

    Scottish-born painter, printmaker, and watercolourist of landscapes and city scenes who immigrated to Winnipeg in 1910. Newton illustrated catalogues for the T. Eaton Company Ltd. before joining Brigdens of Winnipeg Limited in 1916. She studied at the Winnipeg School of Art with Lionel LeMoine FitzGerald and served as president of the Manitoba Society of Artists from 1943 to 1945.

  • Newton, Lilias Torrance (Canadian, 1896–1980)

    A member of the Beaver Hall Group and the Canadian Group of Painters, Newton was among the most important portraitists of her time in Canada. Rideau Hall commissioned her for official portraits of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. She was the third woman to be elected as a full member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.

  • Nichols, Jack (Canadian, 1921–2009)

    An official war artist with the Canadian Navy during the Second World War, Nichols depicted the D-Day invasion as part of the Canadian contingent that landed near Brest, France. After the war, he received a Guggenheim Fellowship and later taught at the University of British Columbia and the University of Toronto. Nichols was known for his melancholy drawings and lithographs and was one of several artists to represent Canada at the 1958 Venice Biennale.

  • Nicholson, Ben (British, 1894–1982)

    Ben Nicholson was a British painter and sculptor whose geometric abstract paintings were a major influence on the development of British abstract art. Nicholson’s abstractions developed out of a concern with formal structure that was inspired by his visits to the studios of Georges Braque, Constantin Brancusi, and Piet Mondrian—all leading figures in abstract modern art—in the early 1930s.

  • Nicolaïdes, Kimon (American, 1891–1938)

    A painter and highly influential teacher, who shared his pedagogical techniques in the book The Natural Way to Draw, first published in 1941 and now a classic in the field. Nicolaïdes taught for fifteen years at the Art Students League of New York, where he himself had been a student.

  • Nicolas, Louis (French, 1634–post-1700)

    A Jesuit missionary in New France and creator of the illustrated manuscript Codex Canadensis, which depicts the flora, fauna and Indigenous inhabitants of New France in a style different from official art of Nicolas’s time. The Codex contains notably accurate details about birds and other animals, as well as imaginary creatures such as a unicorn and a sea monster. (See Louis Nicolas: Life & Work by François-Marc Gagnon.)

  • Nicoll, James McLaren (Canadian, 1892–1986)

    A landscape painter best known for his detailed, vibrant scenes of rural and urban Canada. Nicoll was born in Fort Macleod, Alberta, and worked as an engineer for the Canadian Pacific Railway before taking up painting in the 1930s. He was active in the Calgary art community, becoming involved in a number of local institutions and organizations such as the Alberta Society of Artists and the Calgary Allied Arts Council.

  • Nicoll, Marion (Canadian, 1909–1985)

    A painter and an important figure in the Alberta art scene in the mid-twentieth century, particularly for her role in introducing abstract art to her students and colleagues. Nicoll was the first female teacher at the Provincial Institute of Technology and Art (now Alberta College of Art and Design), where she had a wide-ranging influence on generations of students. (See Ann Davis and Elizabeth Herbert, Marion Nicoll: Silence and Alchemy [2013].)

  • Nietzsche, Friedrich (German, 1844–1900)

    A philosopher and cultural critic who attacked traditional values and received knowledge, exposing the collapse of European Christian morality in an increasingly secular world. Nietzsche saw his time as essentially nihilistic and pursued a psychological investigation of the self and of society. Central to this investigation was the idea of the Superman, a human ideal free from imposed values and capable of shifting the course of humanity through qualities that did not exclude violence and superiority.

  • Nightingale Gallery, Toronto

    A Toronto gallery founded in 1968 by Chris Youngs, an American expatriate, and an important site for experimental and Conceptual art. Its group show Concept 70, 1970, was one of the first in Toronto to include video art. In 1971 Nightingale became A Space, an artist-run centre.

  • Nigog

    An art magazine founded in 1918 in Montreal by Fernand Préfontaine, Robert de Roquebrune, and Léo-Pol Morin. Le Nigog was the first Quebec publication devoted to contemporary art. It advocated the ideas of French modernity and privileged the freedom of the artist to address any subject of their choosing, to the detriment of regionalism in art. A multidisciplinary journal, it attracted about thirty contributors who wrote articles on art, music, architecture, and literature. Strongly criticized by regional writers and artists, Le Nigog lasted only one year, but it opened the door to new artistic perspectives in French Canada.

  • Nihilist Spasm Band

    A noise band formed in 1965 in London, Ontario, and still presenting concerts internationally. Its members originally played homemade and modified instruments, and later began incorporating electronic instruments and effects into their sets and recordings. Composed of local artists and their friends, including a librarian, a teacher, and a physician, the band’s current guitarist is Murray Favro, with John Boyle on kazoo and drums; Greg Curnoe was kazooist and drummer until his death in 1992.

  • Niro, Shelley (Kanien’kehaka [Mohawk], Turtle Clan, Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, b. 1954)

    A multidisciplinary artist who uses brazen humour in beadwork, sculpture, video, and photography to challenge colonial and mainstream portrayals of Indigenous peoples. In acts of parody and reimagination, Niro has combined depictions of herself and female family members with traditional Mohawk imagery and pop cultural references. In 2017 she received the Scotiabank Photography Award and the Governor General’s Award for Visual and Media Arts.

  • Niverville, Louis de (Canadian, 1933–2019)

    Born in England and raised in Montreal and Ottawa, Louis de Niverville created surreal paintings and painted collages inspired by vivid dreams and childhood memories. He began his career making drawings and small paintings on paper, concentrating increasingly on painting from the late 1950s on. The self-taught artist gained an even more serious interest in painting when he completed a mural in 1967 for Expo Theatre in Montreal. Niverville worked in painting and painted collage until 1981, when the latter became his primary focus. During his lifetime, Niverville’s work was the subject of two major retrospectives organized by the Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa.

  • Niviaqsi (Kinngait, 1908–1959)

    Also known as Niviaksiak, Niviaqsi was a carver and a significant contributor to early print collections produced by the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative (now Kinngait Studios). He was renowned for his sculptures of bears and became one of the Co-op’s first Inuit printmakers, creating blue and white stonecut and stencil prints that often combined multiple perspectives into a single work. His work is in the collections of both Canadian and international institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, New York.

  • Nochlin, Linda (American, 1931–2017)

    A feminist art historian famous for her 1971 essay “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?,” Linda Nochlin addressed in her work the absence of women from art-historical contexts by examining their access to training and their place in society, opening the door to new frameworks for art-historical research and curatorial practice.

  • Noestheden, John (Canadian, b. 1945)

    An artist and teacher whose rigorous conceptual works—paintings, drawings, installations, sculptures, and mixed media—evoke his interests in beauty, formal simplicity, and process. Widely exhibited and collected, his work is held by public institutions across Canada, including the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; the Glenbow Museum, Calgary; and the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto.

  • Noganosh, Ron (Anishinābe, 1949–2017)

    An Anishinābe sculptor and assemblage artist from Magnetewan First Nation in Ontario who co-founded the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective (now the Indigenous Curatorial Collective) in 2006. Noganosh trained as a welder and graphic artist before studying fine arts at the University of Ottawa. His pioneering assemblage works transformed readymade commercial materials such beer cans and caps into sculptural objects rich with humour, symbolism, and cultural commentary.

  • Noguchi, Louise (Canadian, b.1958) 

    Working in photography, sculpture, video, and other media since the 1980s, Toronto-based artist Louise Noguchi examines the role of the artist as witness in contemporary society and questions notions of identity, perception, and reality. A graduate of the Ontario College of Art (now OCAD University) in Toronto, Noguchi is a professor in the Art and Art History program at Sheridan College and the University of Toronto Mississauga.

  • Noland, Kenneth (American, 1924–2010)

    Like his colleague Morris Louis, Noland turned to stain painting after seeing the work of Helen Frankenthaler in 1953. More geometric and hard-edge than Louis, he also, in the 1960s, became a major exponent of colour-field painting, the stylistic successor to Abstract Expressionism, which the critic Clement Greenberg would champion as Post-Painterly Abstraction.

  • Non-Figurative Artists’ Association of Montréal

    A loose coalition of abstract artists formed out of Guido Molinari’s Galerie L’Actuelle in 1956. The association was active until 1961 and included several painters of the Montreal Automatistes and Plasticiens. Fernand Leduc served as the association’s first president.

  • Nordgren, Anna (Swedish, 1847–1916)

    A painter known for genre paintings and portraiture, Anna Nordgren was one of the first women enrolled in the Royal Swedish Academy of Art. She also studied at the Académie Julian, a private arts school in Paris. In 1891 she founded London’s 91 Art Club for women artists.

  • Norris, George (Canadian, 1928–2013)

    A graduate of the Vancouver School of Art (now the Emily Carr University of Art + Design), Norris spent most of his career working in Vancouver. He created several public sculptures in the city, working with metals, stones, and concrete. His most famous work is The Crab, 1968, at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre in Vancouver.

  • Norris, Joe (Canadian, 1924–1996)

    Joe Norris was a prominent folk painter based in the small hamlet of Lower Prospect, Nova Scotia. He worked in the fishing and construction industries until a heart attack in 1972 prompted him to retire, after which he began painting. Norris’s work is recognized for its strong compositional designs and vibrant colour palette. His work is found in the collections of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, National Gallery of Canada, and Canadian Museum of History.

  • Northern Renaissance

    Flourishing in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the Renaissance in Northern Europe was characterized by the rise of Humanism, by an engagement with Italy and the classical world, and by the impact of the Protestant Reformation. Advances in artistic techniques, notably the development of oil paint and printmaking, saw various art forms generated with a high level of invention, detail, and skill. Hieronymus Bosch, Albrecht Dürer, and Hans Holbein are key figures.

  • Northwest Coast carvings

    Carvings made in wood, stone, and bone by Haida, Tlingit, Kwakiutl, and other First Nations of North America’s Northwest Coast region. Highly formalized, curvilinear lines, internal design elements, and abstract compositions are characteristic motifs in these carvings that depict animal and human forms.

  • Northwest School

    An informal artists’ group linked by their interest in the quality of light, open skies, and natural forms in the American Pacific Northwest. Their work, influenced by Abstract Expressionism and Asian art, is marked by a spiritual feeling for nature. The painters chiefly associated with the school are Guy Anderson (1906–1998), Kenneth Callahan (1905–1986), Morris Graves (1910–2001), and Mark Tobey (1890–1976).

  • Notan

    A Japanese term that translates to “light-dark harmony,” used as a design concept in artmaking. Notan describes a pared-down, minimally detailed composition made entirely in shades of black and white. The technique is often used to create preparatory studies for artworks, as it allows the artist to balance and gauge visual elements such as shape, line, and perspective.

  • Notman-Fraser photographic studio

    A highly successful studio opened by photographer and entrepreneur William Notman at 120 King Street East in Toronto in 1868, the third of his studio operations in Canada, which would eventually be part of the largest photographic business in North America. The Toronto studio was managed by Notman’s business partner John Arthur Fraser, a painter, photographer, and illustrator. The studio closed in 1880 when it was sold by Fraser.

  • Notman, William (Scottish/Canadian, 1826–1891)

    After immigrating to Canada in 1856, Notman soon became Montreal’s most prominent photographer. He specialized in portraits and developed innovative techniques to portray many people in a single photograph (known as a composite photograph) and to recreate outdoor scenes inside the studio. Thanks to his exceptional technical and promotional skills, he was the first Canadian photographer to build an international reputation. (See William Notman: Life & Work by Sarah Parsons.)

  • Nouveau réalisme (New Realism)

    An avant-garde movement founded in 1960 by the art critic Pierre Restany and the painter Yves Klein. Influenced by Dada, the New Realists often used collage and assemblage, incorporating objects into their works.

  • Novick, Honey (Canadian, n.d.)

    An icon of the Toronto counterculture since the 1970s, Novick is a singer, songwriter, voice coach, and poet who performs folk standards, children’s songs, avant-garde jazz, and classical music in seven languages. She has sung for Pierre Elliott Trudeau, at Carnegie Hall, and at the opening of Walker Court at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. Using the pseudonym Miss Honey, she won The 1970 Miss General Idea Pageant, 1970, General Idea’s first such event.

  • NSCAD University

    Founded in 1887 as the Victoria School of Art and Design, and renamed as the Nova Scotia College of Art (1925) and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (1969) before becoming NSCAD University in 2003, the institution is among the leading art schools in Canada. Initially dedicated to traditional landscape painting, the institution developed a more progressive curriculum after Group of Seven member Arthur Lismer served as its principal (1916–19). Assuming the role of president in 1967, Garry Neill Kennedy spearheaded NSCAD’s transformation into a world-renowned centre for Conceptual art in the 1970s.

  • Nunavik

    One of four regions that make up Inuit Nunangat, the Inuit homeland in Canada, Nunavik is located on the Ungava Peninsula and along Hudson Bay in northern Quebec. It is administered by the Makivik Corporation, which acts as the legal representative for Inuit in Quebec and works to ensure that the terms of the two land claims agreements affecting Nunavik—the 1975 James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement and the 2007 offshore Nunavik Inuit Land Claims Agreement—continue to be met.

  • Nutt, Elizabeth Styring (British/Canadian, 1870–1946)

    A painter and educator who spent twenty-five years in Nova Scotia, where, as principal, she helped guide the Victoria School of Art and Design through its transformation into the Nova Scotia College of Art (now NSCAD University), Halifax. She favoured rural English subjects for her paintings throughout her career but also painted many Atlantic landscapes.

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