Gerald McMaster is a curator, an artist, an author and a professor. He holds a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Visual Culture and Curatorial Practice and is the director of the Wapatah Centre for Indigenous Visual Knowledge at OCAD University. Dr. McMaster has 40 years of international work and expertise in contemporary art, critical theory, museology and Indigenous aesthetics, working at such institutions as the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian and the Canadian Museum of History. He was chosen as Canadian curator to the 1995 Venice Biennale and the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale, Canadian commissioner to the 2010 Biennale of Sydney and artistic director to the 18th Biennale of Sydney, in 2012. His most recent book is entitled Iljuwas Bill Reid: Life & Work (Art Canada Institute 2020). Dr. McMaster is nêhiyaw (Plains Cree) and a citizen of the Siksika Nation.
“Gerald McMaster has curated numerous exhibitions that have been pivotal in changing opportunities for Indigenous artists in this country and abroad, and he has changed the intellectual and creative spaces for Indigenous art within institutions. He has written texts that are essential resources for teachers and students, and he has developed exceptional collaborative models of dialogue and research for contemporary Indigenous art.
McMaster has played a critical role in transforming the presentation of institutional collections of Indigenous art and in bringing together the historical and the contemporary to change the conversation around permanent collections.”
Nominators: Sara Angel, Founder and Executive Director (with Jocelyn Anderson, deputy director), The Art Canada Institute, and Aileen Burns, Co-Executive Director & CEO (with Johan Lundh), Remai Modern
“McMaster has played a critical role in transforming the presentation of institutional collections of Indigenous art and in bringing together the historical and the contemporary to change the conversation around permanent collections.”