Robert Houle: Pahgedenaun

January 15 - April 29, 2018

"Kanata: Robert Houle’s Histories" (1993) was the first solo exhibition of a contemporary artist we presented at CUAG, soon after our founding in 1992.

Twenty-five years later, CUAG is honoured to present an exhibition that brings together several recent bodies of drawings and paintings by the Saulteaux artist.

In these works, Houle addresses the traumas he experienced as a child, while attending the residential school located in his home community of Sandy Bay First Nation, on the western shore of Lake Manitoba. The Roman Catholic school was run by the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, and in operation from 1905-1970.

Pahgedenaun is a Saulteaux word expressing the self-defining and self-determining act of “letting it go from your mind,” embodied in Houle’s profoundly powerful and unsettling art works, which embody acts of memory, truth-telling, survivance and healing.

Robert Houle is an internationally-acclaimed Saulteaux artist and a member of Sandy Bay First Nation. He has exhibited his work extensively in North America and abroad since the early 1980s. His work is represented in many important public collections, including the National Gallery of Canada, Art Gallery of Ontario, Remai Modern, Canadian Museum of History, Winnipeg Art Gallery, National Museum of the American Indian (Washington, D.C.) and Museum of Contemporary Art (Sydney, Australia).

Houle received a Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts in 2015 and honorary doctorates from the University of Manitoba (2014) and the University of Ontario Institute of of Technology (2016). He is represented by Kinsman Robinson Galleries, Toronto, and Studio 21, Halifax. Robert Houle: Life and Work, by Shirley Madill, was published by the Art Canada Institute in 2018.

Curated by

Sandra Dyck

Artists in the exhibition

Robert Houle


Robert Houle: Pahgedenaun

Learn more