Mattiusi Iyaituk: Challenging the Canon
I met Mattiusi Iyaituk in 1983. His great smile and his sense of humour impressed me in an instant. After seeing his sculptures and realizing his talent I did not hesitate in offering him a solo exhibition at Gallery Phillip. And I was not wrong. Many of the sculptures sold well before the opening. The tremendous impact Mattiusi's carvings had on me brought him back for a second exhibition with Gallery Phillip.
Mattiusi, again, demonstrates his ability in bringing forward new and fresh carvings in a style different from the more traditional Inuit sculptures. These new pieces, unlike previous ones, are more complex technically as well as thematically. However a powerful energy still emanates from within. It is this power that attracts the viewer to the sculptures.
In these recent works, Mattiusi experiments with a variety of materials; stone is often combined with musk-ox hair and antler to create multifaceted figures, with expressive facial expressions. The artist's use of antler is rather interesting, for it suggests the human bodythe legs, arms and shoulders. Often the faces are stylized and exaggerated, giving the sculptures a dramatic effect.
Mattiusi's use of words in the titles brings forward the underlying store in them. The expressiveness of the forms and complexity of the shapes make Mattiusi Iyaituk the Henry Moore of Inuit Sculpture.
Phillip Gevik, Director
Daphne Odjig, Canadian Indigenous Artist and Icon Dies at 97.
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Odjig is frequently referred to as the "Grandmother of Indigenous Art." She has been the recipient of many awards, honours and recognitions for her works, to name a few: The Order of Canada, the Governor General's Award, and eight
Honorary Doctorates. Her works have been shown in the National Gallery of Canada, The McMichael Canadian Art Collection, the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Art Gallery of Ontario.
She established the first native-run fine art print house in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1971. Known as 'Odjig Indian Prints,' this print house was so successful that it evolved into an Indigenous gallery space in 1974, called the New Warehouse
Gallery, run by Odjig and her husband, Chester Beavon. She was also a founding member of the Indian Group of Seven. This artistic group's purpose was to promote Contemporary Indigenous art and artists.
Alex Janvier's major retrospective, "Alex Janvier: Modern Indigenous Master" is now open at the
McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg, Ontario until January 21st, 2018. Afterwards, it will travel to the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton and the Glenbow Museum in Calgary.
This exhibition was recently on display at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa and the MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina. Alex Janvier is one of Canada's most acclaimed contemporary artists. His career of sixty-five years has yielded
thousands of paintings, and more than twenty-five murals and public commissions. (Photo credit: Kim Griffiths)