The foundation of the RMG’s Permanent Collection was an initial donation of 37 works by Alexandra Luke in 1967. This gift set the original focus on Painters Eleven and contemporary Canadian Art, which continues to shape our collecting priorities today. Over the years, the Collection has grown to include nationally significant works of modern Canadian abstraction, the largest holding of Painters Eleven in the world, and an expanding collection of contemporary art. These areas will continue to be enhanced alongside an intention to collect historically excluded artists to reflect a more holistic, diverse, and equitable and reflective history of Canadian art.
This exhibition features recent acquisitions to the Permanent Collection from the past five years, focusing on works that tell the ongoing history of abstraction in Canada. Included in the exhibition are recent acquisitions of works by Painters Eleven, early examples of important Canadian modernism, and contemporary abstract paintings. Abstraction is an important part of the RMG’s story, and this exhibition highlights our efforts to expand and strengthen this part of our history.