Richard Rivet: Contemporary Alchemist, by Barry Ace
Excerpt from the catalogue "Osopikahikiwak",from the two-person show at the Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris in June 4th to October 1st, 1999.
Perhaps some of the most visually exciting and spiritually charged work coming out of the contemporary Canadian art scene today are the paintings by artist Rick Rivet. His signature style of painting blends abstract-expressionism, primitivism, collage and sgraffito into nothing less than a miraculous spiritual alchemy, where theme and subject matter transcend cultural boundaries. His work cannot be limited to or typecasted into any particular genre of art, but instead his work reflects his universal interest as a visual artist of Canadian Metis ancestry. His work is a synthesis of personal experiences, insights, research and ideas drawn rom indigenous cultures and histories, global iconographies and spiritualities and other world cultural affinities and attributes. Influences stem from the sacred beliefs of indigenous peoples, including North American Indians, Inuit, Africans, Oceanic peoples, Australian Aborigines, Ancient Norse, Aleut, Siberian, and Druidic
peoples, where a mixture of ancient signs and semiotics act as mnemonic devices to communicate and trigger thoughts, emotions and memories. Rivet is particulary drawn to European and American artists including Henri Matisse, Paul Gauguin, Paul Klee, Antoni Tapies, Robert Rauchenberg, and Jasper Johns, who themselves have looked towards indigenous cultures for influences in the stylistic development of their own work. Abstract expressionsim, primitivism, arte povera, collage, neo-expressionism are a few of the influences that have informed his work. His approach to painting is not consciously structured, but instead, a shape, form or icon may act as the impetus for a painting, from which he builds upon in layers and collage, while repeated gestural mark-making reveal the colours below. His use of colour is not necessarily predetermined, but develops as his emotions and feelings influence the work.
| Gerald McMaster
The full length essay is available in the "Osopikahikiwak" catalogue available at Gallery Gevik. This essay is copyright 1999 by Barry Ace.
Odjig, Canadian Indigenous Artist and Icon Dies at 97.
Click here for more details.
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.
Janvier's major retrospective, "Alex Janvier: Modern Indigenous Master" is now on display at
the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa.
Alex Janvier is one of Canada's most acclaimed contemporary Indigenous artists. His
career of sixty-five years has yielded thousands of paintings, and more than twenty-five murals and
public commissions. This retrospective of his artwork is on display from 25 November 2016 to 17
(Photo credit: Kim Griffiths) Click
here for more details.
congratulates renowned Canadian and International abstract painter, Rita Letendre, on her first
major museum retrospective exhibition outside of Québec. Rita Letendre: Fire and
Light is now open until September 17, 2017 at the Art Gallery of Ontario.
which covers Letendre's career from the 1960's to 2000's, is co-curated by Wanda Nanibush and
Georgiana Uhlyarik. The retrospective features nearly forty large-scale paintings drawn from major
national public and private collections.
Letendre was widely exhibited with the artistic groups,
Les Automatistes and Les Plasticiens. She has received the Governor General's Award in
Visual Arts, the Prix Paul-Émile Borduas, and the Orders of Canada, Ontario and
Québec. Click here for more details.