Ankosé – Everything is connected – Tout est relié

Ankosé – Everything is connected – Tout est relié

Explore the National Gallery of Canada’s summer exhibitions and installations – Rembrandt In Amsterdam: Creativity and Competition; Tau Lewis “Symphony”; and Rashid Johnson “Untitled”.

Inviting, alive, open, dimensional—words that define the new core principles of the National Gallery of Canada (NGC) and the new curatorial approach found in the exhibitions and installations that will be on display once the Gallery opens to the public.

Ankosé – an Anishinaabemowin word which means Everything is connected is an invitation to find hope and joy in difference and encourages us to seek out the perspectives and knowledge of those who are not around our table. It is centered in Indigenous ways of knowing and being and amplifying voices.

Rembrandt in Amsterdam: Creativity and Competition

This exhibition covers the rise of one of the great artists in the European tradition, Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–69).

Bringing his paintings, prints and drawings into dialogue with works by friends, followers and rivals, many shown in Canada for the first time, Rembrandt in Amsterdam reveals the synergy between a gifted artist and the stimulating environment that challenged and inspired him.

Rembrandt in Amsterdam is the first ever exhibition to chart the transformative central decades of the artist’s career within the context of the Amsterdam art market. It is also the first major Rembrandt exhibition in Canada since 1969, and the first ever to be presented at the National Gallery of Canada.

The Dutch Republic of Rembrandt’s time had a very clear connection with the history of Turtle Island via contact between Indigenous peoples and Dutch settlers and through the legacy of the transatlantic slave trade. A selection of works of contemporary and Indigenous art trace these connections and explore a wider perspective beyond a European focus, while contributions from Joana Joachim, Gerald McMaster and Rick Hill examine the impact of the Dutch colonial project on Black and Indigenous peoples.

Tau Lewis “Symphony”

Tau Lewis’ Symphony is one of the newest additions to the Gallery’s Contemporary Projects series.

Located in the Rotunda – one of the Gallery’s busiest crossroads – Symphony greets visitors with open arms, among textile and leather floral garlands that extend high above. A year in the making, Symphony is the first work by Lewis to become part of the NGC’s national collection, and is also the Toronto-born, Brooklyn-based artist’s inaugural presentation at the National Gallery of Canada.

In Symphony, reclaimed clothing and fabrics have been repurposed into an expressive portrait of a “mutable being, devoid of gender, that can transmute into blossoms.” The sculpture is a remarkable example of Lewis’ aesthetic vision and material sensibilities. Her “soft portraits” — as she calls her figurative works — incorporate recycled, found garments and textiles sourced in places the artist has lived or visited, including her ancestral home in Jamaica.

Lewis, whose art is rooted in a commitment to healing personal, collective, and historical traumas through labour, especially in relation to histories and lived experiences across the African diaspora.

Rashid Johnson “Untitled”

As part of this Contemporary Projects initiative, the Gallery approached Rashid Johnson to create a major work for the building’s glass-domed main entrance. The resulting work, Untitled, will be the largest pyramidal steel sculpture Johnson has produced to date.

The installation consists of a series of stacked cells filled with plants, books, fiberglass and shea-butter sculptures, video monitors and grow lights. It functions like a brain, incorporating and connecting autobiographical, intellectual, musical, art historical, and literary sources, which are embedded within the objects occupying the minimalist form.

The majority of plants are housed in hand-built ceramic pots made and decorated by the artist with recurring imagery also found in his paintings. The installation features carved blocks of shea butter, one of the artist’s signature materials that was a fixture in his childhood home. The carefully selected stacked books explore tensions and experiences related to issues of race and class.

Johnson has incorporated a pathway through the monumental installation, offering visitors unexpected vantage points. He has also included a performance space at its heart to accommodate live performances. It is his hope that the work will solicit experiences and responses that can be at once emotional, intellectual and critical.

Opening Soon – Summer 2021

The NGC expects to open to the public as soon health restrictions permit. Upon opening visitors can expect an expanded schedule of hours:

  • Wednesdays – Mondays (Inclusive) with free admission on Thursday evenings from 5pm – 8pm

(The Gallery will be closed on Tuesdays).

To book guided tours, family programming or to inquire about pricing and hours of operation please visit or email

Twitter: @NatGalleryCan (EN) @MBACanada (FR)

The Gallery welcomes inquires in both official languages.

Location: National Gallery of Canada, 380 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, ON K1N 9N4, Canada

Telephone: 613-990-1985


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