Meryl McMaster (b. 1988), "Time’s Gravity", 2015. From the series “Wanderings.” Giclée print. 30 x 45 in.


Meryl McMaster: Chronologies

March 18–September 17, 2023


Meryl McMaster crosses timescales with her dreamlike photographic self-portraiture. Working in Quebec and drawing from her nēhiyaw (Plains Cree), British, and Dutch ancestry, she constructs inventive sculptural garments and props to use in her large-format images. She then travels to site-specific landscapes important to family and cross-cultural history, wearing her ensembles for cinematic scenes grounded in place, lineage, and the natural world.

Featuring eleven prior and new photographic works as well as poetry and video, this exhibition explores the artist’s disruption of time. The new works are from her 2022 series “Stories of my Grandmothers | nōhkominak ācimowinatheir first showing in the United States. In this series, McMaster reassembles family stories from images, objects, and written and oral accounts of her Métis and Plains Cree grandmothers, recognizing the resilience of these women amid colonial duress.

Blending moments, lifetimes, generations, and geological eras, McMaster’s work reinforces the intersections between actual and imagined experience. With it, she calls for a future that nurtures and protects kin, and the land itself.

The new works were commissioned for the exhibition Meryl McMaster: Bloodline, co-curated by Sarah Milroy at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Ontario and Tarah Hogue at the Remai Modern in Saskatchewan.

Exhibition title design by Sébastien Aubin (Opaskwayak Cree Nation) / OTAMI - ᐅᑕᒥ.

Meryl McMaster: Chronologies is curated by Laura J. Allen, Curator of Native American Art.


Related Programming

MAM Conversations: Meryl McMaster

Thursday, March 23 at 7 p.m.

Join us for a virtual conversation with artist Meryl McMaster, moderated by MAM Curator of Native American Art Laura J. Allen. McMaster will discuss her process across media and share how her 2022 body of work extends her prior practice and breaks new ground at a time of experimentation in her career.


1.) Installation view of the Montclair Art Museum’s exhibition, Meryl McMaster: Chronologies, with Do You Remember Your Dreams (2022) in the center. Photo: Jason Wyche/Montclair Art Museum.

2.) Installation view of the Montclair Art Museum’s exhibition, Meryl McMaster: Chronologies, with Echoes Across the Field (2022) on the left and I Listened as the World Became Silent (2022) on the right. Photo: Jason Wyche/Montclair Art Museum.

3.) Meryl McMaster (b. 1988), Echoes Across the Field, 2022. From the series “Stories of my Grandmothers | nōhkominak ācimowina.” Giclée print. 40 x 60 in.

4.) Installation view of the Montclair Art Museum’s exhibition, Meryl McMaster: Chronologies with Echoes Across the Field (2022) on the left, Edge of a Moment (2017) in the center, and Time’s Gravity (2015) on the right. Photo: Jason Wyche/Montclair Art Museum.

5.) Meryl McMaster (b. 1988), Edge of a Moment, 2017. Giclée print. 60 x 94.4 in.

Top: Detail from Meryl McMaster (b. 1988), Time’s Gravity, 2015. From the series “Wanderings.” Giclée print. 30 x 45 in.

All images of Meryl McMaster's work are courtesy of the artist, Stephen Bulger Gallery, and Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain.

Meryl McMaster (Red Pheasant Cree Nation, member of Siksika Nation, British, Dutch, b. 1988) lives in Chelsea, Quebec. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from Toronto’s OCAD University and many awards and accolades for her work. These include the Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship, Scotiabank New Generation Photography Award, REVEAL Indigenous Art Award, Charles Pachter Prize for Emerging Artists, Canon Canada Prize, and OCAD University Medal. She was shortlisted for the Les Rencontres d’Arles award and long listed for the Sobey Art Award. McMaster’s work has been acquired by significant public collections within Canada and the United States, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Heard Museum, the Eiteljorg Museum, and the National Museum of the American Indian. She has had numerous solo and group exhibitions and was recently a McCord Museum Artist in Residence in Montreal.

Meryl McMaster: Chronologies is made possible with generous support from the Lyn and Glenn Reiter Endowed Special Exhibition Fund, Patricia A. Bell, Patti and Jimmy Elliott, Tracy Higgins and James Leitner, Christine James and Nick DeToustain, Diana L. Johnson, Wendy and Andrew Lacey, and Margo and Frank Walter.

All MAM programs are made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, The Vance Wall Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and Museum members.

Credit Logos