Beau Dick was an artist, activist, hereditary chief, and, by all accounts, a very engaging personality. His dealer, LaTiesha Fazakas, of Fazakas Gallery said, “Beau made you believe in magic, destiny and the transcending value of art.”
Beau Dick (Times Colonist image)
Beau Dick’s work is currently part of Documenta 14 in Athens, Greece. In 2010 his work was part of the Sydney Biennale. The National Gallery of Canada, the Vancouver Art Gallery , the McMichael Canadian Art Collection have all shown his work. He was a significant Canadian artist.
Marsha Lederman has written a detailed, and enlightening obituary in the Globe and Mail. You can read it here. Check the CBC news report for further images.
Oh! It was startling to see Ms Odjig’s photo on the Globe and Mail’s Obituaries page today. It’s not that she hasn’t lived a long, fruitful life. It’s just sad to see another great Canadian artist pass on.
Daphne Odjig Edmonton Journal photo
I first saw her work in a school hallway in the north end of Winnipeg. It was a framed print; I wish I had asked how the school came to own it. I don’t remember the image, but I do remember that I liked her style immediately. Maclean’s Magazine/The Canadian Press says her work blends “the influences of Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh with the shapes of Ojibwa pictographs.” (Read the short article here.)
Daphne Odjig Odjig.com image
The subject matter of her work is wide-ranging, from domestic scenes and community life, to erotica and legends.
Daphne Odjig In Tune with the Infinite
Daphne Odjig Pow Wow Dancer
In 2011, Pow Wow Dancer was featured on a Canada post stamp. Click here and here to see and read more about Ms Odjig’s images on Canadian stamps.
Daphne Odjig accomplished much in her life. She received the Order of Canada in 1986, and the Governor General’s Award for Visual and Media Art in 2007. Her work has been shown, and collected, internationally. Perhaps her most interesting achievment is her role in the founding of the Professional Indian Artists Inc. She opened a business, Odjig Indian Prints of Canada, (which expanded to be The New Warehouse Gallery) in Winnipeg in the 1970s. Yes! She was the first indigenous person to own an art gallery in Canada. She exhibited and sold her own work, as well as the art of Jackson Beardy, Norval Morriseau, Alex Janvier, Eddie Cobbiness, Carl Ray and Joseph Sanchez. They are sometimes referred to as The Native Group of Seven. Her initiatives in promoting aboriginal art had significant impact for native artists. For further reading you can’t go wrong with the Canadian Encyclopedia article here.
The Art Caravan first saw Daphne Odjig‘s work hanging in the hallway of an elementary school in the north end of Winnipeg. Was it an original print? Was it a poster? I don’t know, and all that matters is that it was my introduction to this great artist.
Classmates by Daphne Odjig
Was it the Cubist inflections in her work that caught my eye? I know that her subject matter–thecelebration of life around us–has kept me interested in her art.
In Tune with the Infinite by Daphne Odjig
Untitled (Mother and Child) by Daphne Odjig
Pow Wow Dancer by Daphne Odjig
In 1973 Ms Odjig helped create the Professional Native Indian Artists Association. She is a member of the informal Aboriginal Group of Seven along with Jackson Beardy, Eddie Cobiness, Alex Janvier, Norval Morriseau, Carl Ray and Joseph Sanchez.
Ms Odjig is 95 years old. She talks frankly about her age, and her art, in this interview from the National Gallery of Canada.
Her work has been featured on Canadian postage stamps, and used as inspiration for clothing. She has received several honorary degrees, and has been awarded the Order of Canada. In 2007, she was awarded a Governor General’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in Visual and Media Arts.