Daphne Boyer, Moss Bag, 2022, light box, 80 × 246.4 × 5.1 cm. Photo: Carey Shaw
Daphne Boyer, Moss Bag, 2022, light box, 80 × 246.4 × 5.1 cm. Photo: Carey Shaw

New acquisitions add Prairie voices and more to Remai Modern collection

Remai Modern holds more than 8,000 works in its collection, dating back to the 1960s and the museum’s predecessor, the Mendel Art Gallery. It is an ever-evolving collection that tells the stories of the institution and this place. Bringing in new acquisitions allows the museum to represent more artistic voices that speak to key movements and moments in contemporary art.

In 2022, Remai Modern added 33 works to its collection: 13 purchases and 20 donations. The purchases were made possible thanks to the Frank and Ellen Remai Foundation, who in 2017 pledged $1 million a year for 25 years to support art acquisitions. The new works represent a wide variety of media, from installation to print to pastel. Learn more in our 2022 Annual Report, or read on to see the pieces joining our collection and where you may have seen them in the museum before.

Storied Objects: Métis Art in Relation, installation view, Remai Modern, 2022. Photo: Carey Shaw
Storied Objects: Métis Art in Relation, installation view, Remai Modern, 2022. Photo: Carey Shaw

Daphne Boyer, Moss Bag

Daphne Boyer’s practice merges plant science, digital media and women’s traditional handwork. Moss Bag replicates a beadwork pattern on a historical moss bag in the collection of the Manitoba Museum. This can be seen on an accompanying print, Moss Bag H4-2-13, that Boyer has donated to Remai Modern. Boyer’s version of the design was produced using a technique she calls “berries to beads.” In place of glass beads, Boyer has harvested, arranged and then photographed hundreds of individual berries.

Boyer’s cousin, Warren Cariou, suggests that the work’s large format “allows the viewer to recognize the ‘seeds’ within the beads, and to contemplate the ways that traditional beadwork is connected to practices of plant harvesting, preservation and consumption.”1 Following the collapse of the bison herds, Métis women were often the sole income earners of the family. Boyer’s use of edible plants is a nod to beadwork’s role in providing the funds needed to feed one’s family while also evoking the importance of cultural sustenance and intergenerational learning. She further honours the unnamed maker of the moss bag by encouraging an appreciation of the Grandmother artist’s skill and aesthetic sensibility.

Boyer was born in Estevan and lived in the communities of Moose Jaw, Meadow Lake and Saskatoon as a child. She is of French and Métis ancestry from the historic communities of Red River, St. François Xavier and Lebret. Based in Victoria, she is a member of the Métis Nation of British Columbia.

Nick Cave, Spinner Forest

  • Exhibition history: Currently on view in Remai Modern’s atrium
  • Medium: coated metal, wire, motors

The overall effect of this site-responsive installation, composed of thousands of kinetic spinners, is one of festive colour and shimmer and dancing movement, typical of the exuberant costumed performances for which Cave is best known. Behind the beautiful visual impact of this work is a message reflecting the artist’s deep concern about gun violence, particularly as it is directed to African-Americans in the United States. Many of the spinners feature motifs of handguns, bullets and teardrops, calling attention to racial inequity through the use of everyday objects and with an aesthetic approach that is entrancing and non-threatening. Placed in this space, the work speaks to the ongoing prevalence of violence against racialized peoples, an issue of concern in our community.

Nick Cave is a leading African American artist from the Great Plains and one of the most celebrated Black artists from North America. He lives and works in Chicago as an artist, educator and foremost a messenger, working between the visual and performing arts through a wide range of mediums including sculpture, installation, video, sound and performance.

Wally Dion, Coelacanth and Sturgeon

  • Exhibition history: Previously on view in the Level 3 galleria in 2022
  • Medium: circuit boards, crystals, plywood, nails

In these works, artist Wally Dion meticulously cuts apart circuit boards, puzzling them together into new shapes. The process shares similarities with traditional quilting and the Woodland painting style, frequently practiced by Indigenous artists from the Great Lakes region.  Dion considers his circuit boards as contemporary hieroglyphs, questioning how these seemingly erratic lines and shapes will be interpreted by future generations.

E-waste, including circuit boards, is a by-product of our electronic-focused society, and it’s increasing exponentially. In addition to the act of re-using these materials, the geographical qualities in Dion’s artworks are also a reminder of the environmental impact caused by rare earth mineral mining.

The sturgeon and coelacanth are extant fish that bridge the gap between ancient extinct species and the contemporary creatures that exist today. Considered living fossils, these species grow as large as 12 feet, and live an average of 50 years. Sturgeon inhabit water ways, including the South Saskatchewan River just outside. Current sturgeon numbers are very low due to factors such as overfishing and water quality. Dion’s focus on these fish provides an additional call to protect the environment and the organisms that inhabit it. He also suggests a different relationship to time itself by highlighting species that straddle the past and the present.

Wally Dion is a member of Yellow Quill First Nation (Salteaux). He holds a BFA from the University of Saskatchewan and an MFA from Rhode Island School of Design.

Adad Hannah, Saskatoon Guernica, 2021, installation view. Courtesy of Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain, Montreal; Equinox Gallery, Vancouver. Photo: Carey Shaw
Adad Hannah, Saskatoon Guernica, 2021, installation view. Courtesy of Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain, Montreal; Equinox Gallery, Vancouver. Photo: Carey Shaw

Adad Hannah, Saskatoon Guernica (photographic print)

  • Exhibition history: The installation was featured in the 2021 exhibition Guernica Remastered
  • Medium: inkjet print

Adad Hannah has gifted an inkjet print of Saskatoon Guernica, an installation commissioned specifically for Guernica Remastered, where Hannah made a nearly life-sized recreation of the work in the gallery space. While Picasso’s painting shows the fractured aftermath of a vicious bombing, Hannah’s version incorporates the ubiquitous materials of everyday life, allowing viewers to clearly see how the work was put together. Working with local collaborators, Hannah also recalls Picasso’s collaborative process on the mural, in which artist Dora Maar and poet Paul Eluard co-developed and discussed ideas while Picasso painted.

Hannah’s project demonstrates the great power of Guernica. Even when recreated using an ironing board, roasting pan, fabric and other materials, the mural is still an iconic, recognizable image. The photographic print extends the frame, thus removing the boundary between finished product and the process used to create it.

American-born, Canadian artist Adad Hannah works in a variety of media, including photography, film installation, performance and sculpture. His “still videos” have gained national and international acclaim for their ability to use moments in the history of art as a means to reflect on present-day issues and concerns.

Edgar Heap of Birds, Water is Your Only Medicine

The title of this work, Water is Your Only Medicine, by Edgar Heap of Birds recalls the actions of water protectors who stood against the incursion of the Dakota Access Pipeline at the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation. “Mni Wiconi” is Lakhota for “water is life” or, more accurately, “water is alive.” The expression, seen on banners and protest signs at Standing Rock, communicates the understanding that water is a relative and, as such, must be protected.

The poetic phrases on these prints are drawn from a variety of sources. They capture memories from the artist’s own life and his ongoing engagement with tribal ceremony, cite different naming systems used to describe bodies of water, and reference issues of extraction and sustainability.

Compared to other monoprint works by Heap of Birds, Water is Your Only Medicine is less overtly critical and more spiritual in its messaging, providing a nod to water’s life-giving force. The form of the work is a political statement in itself, however. On the left side of the grid, the primary prints — the first “pull” from the printmaking plate — are bold and vibrant in colour. The pale, more faint works on the right side are ghost prints made from the residual ink left on the plate. The contrast between the primary and ghost prints symbolizes, on the one hand, the growth and survival of Indigenous life and, other the other, the oppression of that life by state power.

Heap of Birds is a senior artist, activist and teacher from the Cheyanne and Arapaho Nations. He has lived in Oklahoma, including the Cheyenne and Arapaho Reservation lands, since 1981. As a professor at the University of Oklahoma from 1988 to 2018, he taught in the School of Art and Native American Studies Department.

Luther Konadu, Figure as Index

Luther Konadu began Figure as Index in 2015, as an ongoing project. New images are added to create an archive of visual material that is layered, collaged, re-photographed and reconfigured for each installation.

The people that appear in Konadu’s work are his family, friends and other personal connections in Winnipeg. Konadu intentionally limits any reference to time and place in the images. What emerges is a larger portrait of a community, formed by many personal histories, that is constantly changing. Konadu sees the studio as a social space, where people meet to collaborate and converse.

Konadu’s images also reflect upon the problematic history of photography, and how the medium shapes notions of truth and knowledge. How do we read images of other people, and what can they really tell us about a person’s life or interior world?

By fragmenting and layering images, Konadu highlights the incomplete nature of photographs, while also exploring the medium’s potential for critical explorations of representation.

Born in Ontario to Ghanaian parents, Konadu grew up between North York, Ghana’s capital city Accra, and the suburbs of Chicago. He moved to Winnipeg in 2015 to study art at the University of Manitoba. His interest in fostering community through art extends to his activities as an editor for Public Parking, an online arts journal, and as Director of Blinkers Art and Project Space in Winnipeg.

Zachari Logan, Rococo Sky (guardai in alto e vidi le sue spalle), parts 1-5

  • Exhibition history: Part of the 2021 exhibition Zachari Logan: Ghost Meadows
  • Medium: pastel, graphite, watercolour and coloured pencil on paper

Rococo Sky (guardai in alto e vidi le sue spalle) expands the artist’s ongoing engagement with flora in relation to the body. The work created for this exhibition moves in a poetic direction with fragments of plant material that seem to dance across the surface of the paper, creating a sense of movement through the space. Remai Modern purchased parts 3, 4, & 5 of this work, while Logan gifted parts 1 & 2 in memory of his father, Kenneth Archibald Logan.

The bracketed part of the title translates from Italian to: “Upward I looked, and I beheld its shoulders…” , a quote from the fourth stanza of Dante’s Inferno.

Zachari Logan works mainly with large-scale drawing, ceramics and installation practices. Logan has exhibited widely throughout North America, Europe and Asia and is found in private and public collections worldwide, including; National Gallery of Canada, Art Gallery of Ontario, Remai Modern, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Leslie-Lohman Museum, Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art (NMOCA), 21cMuseums Hotel Collection and Thetis Foundation, among others. 

Cannupa Hanska Luger, Mirror Shield Project

The Mirror Shield Project was conceived by Cannupa Hanska Luger in support of the Water Protectors, a group of Indigenous leaders and activists who opposed the Dakota Access Pipeline near Standing Rock, North Dakota. In 2016, the Water Protectors gained widespread support and attracted international attention as thousands of Indigenous people and allies joined in solidarity at Oceti Sakowin Camp to protect the waters and lands from encroaching pipeline development.

Inspired by images of Ukrainian women confronting riot police with mirrors, the artist developed the mirror shields to provide physical protection from aggression, while also reflecting the image of oppressive force back to the aggressors. The shields were also used in performance actions including one designed to resist, invert and frustrate surveillance by the police airplanes that constantly encircled the camp, which can be seen in the video presented here.

Luger conceived of the mirror shields as a community project. He published a video tutorial on social media, inviting people to create their own shields. People responded: an estimated 1,000 shields were sent to the camp from engaged citizens across North America. The Mirror Shield Project has since been adopted by various resistance movements around the world.

Remai Modern’s MNP Art Collective, a free program open to ages 14 to 21, fabricated the mirror shields for this exhibition, providing hands-on experience for local youth to learn more about the relationship between art, activism, social justice and environmental issues. At the artist’s request, the shields will be redeployed after the exhibition to a site of frontline action where they can be used by activists.

Luger is an enrolled member of the Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation and is of Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara, Lakota and European descent. In 2011, he received a BFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts. Through monumental installations, sculpture and video, Luger weaves performance and political action to communicate stories about 21st-century Indigeneity.

Postcommodity, Dreams, Blessings and Memories

Dreams, Blessings and Memories is a text and sound installation that addresses destructive labour practices within the military-agricultural complex. The piece is generated from a Postcommodity poem and realized in Náhautl, the language spoken by Nahua people, primarily in what is now known as central Mexico.

In the poem, Postcommodity reflect on the farmworkers’ movement also known as “La Causa” in California’s San Joaquin Valley, and the role that Indigenous farm labourers play in the food industry. Working on mega farms in Mexico, the US and Canada, these labourers, contrary to their human rights, are historically reported to have been exposed to potentially toxic fertilizers and pesticides in order to produce crops. In choosing the restrooms for the sound portion of this work, Postcommodity introduces another human presence into a typically private space, encouraging visitors to consider the often-invisible ways in which we are all interconnected.

Náhautl translation by Delfina De La Cruz and Ofelia Cruz Morales, audio recording by Ofelia Cruz Morales.

Postcommodity, Facing the Wall

In 2021, the Picasso Gallery was transformed by Postcommodity, the artist collective behind the exhibition Time Holds All the Answers. Postcommodity did not create any of the individual objects in the space, but their gesture of turning Picasso’s works around to face the wall is an art intervention. By interrupting the presentation of Euro-North American art history, Postcommodity aims to symbolically shift the museum context. In this pause, they felt that Remai Modern was better suited to host their collective’s Indigenous voice.

The Picasso exhibition in the gallery, A Formative Encounter, was conceived to bring focus to the Oceanic and African art works in the collection and emphasize how much Picasso and other modernist artists owed to the artists who made them. The fact remains, however, that the exhibition is presented in the Picasso Gallery, and it was the mechanisms of colonialism that brought cultural objects from distant cultures to a museum in Saskatoon.

With the works by Picasso facing the wall, the sculptures created by Indigenous artists from Papua New Guinea and West Africa were given their due prominence. They are presented as autonomous works of art, rather than in relation to the European master.

Postcommodity is an interdisciplinary arts collective founded in the mid-2000s, currently comprised of Cristóbal Martínez and Kade L. Twist. The collective has exhibited internationally, including at documenta14, Athens, Greece and Kassel, Germany; the 57th Carnegie International, Pittsburgh, where they were awarded the Fine Prize; the 2017 Whitney Biennial, New York; and the 18th Biennale of Sydney, Australia.

Laure Prouvost, This Means

  • Exhibition history: Part of the upcoming exhibition Laure Prouvost: Oma-je
  • Medium: glass, nailbrush, steel, pump, water

Artist Laure Prouvost has created her own ideographic language. Her system of symbols, like emoji or hieroglyphics, convey ideas, tell stories, explore emotion bonds, and foreground forms of knowledge that aren’t easily conveyed in written language. The octopus, in Prouvost’s world, is a mother figure. She leaks water, essential for life, and holds in her hands a bottle of milk, a glass and orange, a nail brush, and a toothbrush.

Oma-je will be acclaimed French artist Laure Prouvost’s largest exhibition to date in North America. It celebrates her relationship to artistic predecessors including John Latham, Louise Bourgeois, Agnes Varda, and Niki de Saint Phalle, amongst others. The exhibition also transitions into more recent works that look to embodied ways of knowing for inspiration, shifting from Grandfather to Grandmother and forefather to foremother. Prouvost is known for her playful use of language, translation and transliteration, experimental narrated video, and immersive and surprising installations that transport visitors into unfamiliar worlds created largely from everyday objects.

Be sure to see this exhibition when it opens in the Feature and Picasso galleries on June 30!

Other purchases and donations

Gift of Freda and Irwin Browns

Henri Matisse
Nu au bracelet, c. 1938, linocut, 31.7 × 17.8 cm.

Käthe Kollwitz
Brustbild einer Arbeiterfrau mit blauem Tuch, 1903, colour lithograph, 46.6 × 35.7 cm.

Gift of Eury Chang and Robert Kardosh
in memory of Ed Kardosh

Tony Anguhalluq
one inuk is Trying to catch wolves and is at the west side of Baker Lake in aug, 2017, coloured pencil and oil stick on paper, 56.5 × 76.2 cm.
Two Curved hills in Pink and Orange and Northern Light in the Dark, 2006, coloured pencil on paper, 30.5 × 22.9 cm.

Gift of Neil Devitt

Taras Polataiko
Eyes for YOU, 1993, acrylic on linen, 192.7 × 192.7 cm.

Gift of Donald Ellis

Roy Arden
Museum of Anthropology #2, UBC Vancouver, 1991, printed 2010, chromogenic print, 82.5 × 111.2 cm.

Gift of the estate of Mildred and Rory Flanagan

Dorothy Knowles
Untitled (trees and seated figures), 1956, oil on paper, 48.5 × 61.5 cm.

William Perehudoff
Untitled (woman in a chair), c. 1950, watercolour on paper, 34.2 × 25.5 cm.

Gift of Jim Graham

Jim Graham
Fast Forward, 1987, acrylic on canvas, 106.7 × 213.4 cm.

Gift of Grit and Scott McCreath

Ernest F. Lindner
Untitled (backyard sketch), not dated, colour pencil on paper, 23.8 × 24 cm.

Purchased in 2022

Joseph M. Sánchez
Seventh Generation Baby, 2018–19, conté, acrylic on paper, 152.4 × 396.2 cm

Gift of Joseph M. Sánchez

Joseph M. Sánchez
Ancestors Talking, 2018, conte, acrylic on paper, 121.9 × 104.8 cm.
Fancy Dancer, 2018-2019, conte, acrylic on paper, 132.1 × 106 cm.

Gift of Guy Vanderhaeghe

Margaret Vanderhaeghe
The Loosing of Herbie Ferguson, 1993, oil, acrylic on canvas, 162.6 × 61 cm; 160 × 121.9 cm; 149.9 × 116.8 cm (triptych).
Sun Shower, 2003, oil and acrylic on canvas, 152.4 × 121.9 cm.

Gift of Cheryll Woodbury

Robert Rauschenberg
Cactus, 1973, silkscreen and solvent transfer, 152.4 × 96.5 cm.


Remai Modern aims to be a welcoming and inclusive public gathering place where we recognize the past, engage with the present, and envision new futures together through art. Explore more of the collection at remaimodern.org/collection.