Publications on First Nations Art
Anthem: Perspectives on Home and Native Land
Artists from across Canada identify varying forms of nationhood that either serve or detract from the concept of a national accord. Each artist explores the discourse to include not only colonial histories, but also distinctive and multicultural liberties such as treaties, blood, languages, sexual orientation, faith, and oral traditions. The dynamic range of art works exhibited expose and accept the diverse forms of nationalism that exist across the country. In English and French.
Carelton University Art Gallery (02/2008) 64 pp col. ill. 11 x 9 in hardcover 978-0-7709-0519-4 $25.00 Can./U.S
Mary Anne Barkhouse: Boreal Baroque
Jeff Thomas & Linda Jansma
Mary Anne Barkhouse belongs to the Nimpkish band, Kwakiutl First Nation. Her sculptural work examines environmental concerns and indigenous culture through the use of animal imagery. Wolves, ravens, moose and beaver are juxtaposed against a diversity of background situations. In Boreal Baroque, the work's setting is inspired by the palatial grounds at Versailles where the wild is juxtaposed with the wildly opulent.
The Robert McLaughlin Gallery (06/2007) 64 pp 16 col. ill. 9 x 7 in softcover 978-0-921500-85-8 $20.00 Can./U.S.
Mary Anne Barkhouse: The Reines of Chaos / Les Rênes du chaos
Mary Anne Barkhouse is a First Nation artist and descendent of a long line of internationally recognized artists that includes Ellen Neel and Mungo Martin. This publication documents an ambitious new body of muti-media work intent on exploring the use of apocalyptic metaphors in warfare and cultural subjugation. In English and French.
The Ottawa Art Gallery (01/2009) 64 pp col. ill. 6 x 5 in softcover 978-1-894906-34-0 $20.00 Can. $21.95 U.S.
Carl Beam: The Poetics of Being
Edited by Greg A. Hill Contributors: Greg A. Hill, Gerald McMaster, Virginia Eichhorn, Alan Corbiere, Crystal Migwans and Ann Beam
This major retrospective publication confirms Carl Beam (1943 - 2005) as one of Canada's most important artists. Beam broke new ground throughout his career, notably as the first artist of Native Ancestry (Ojibwe), to have his work purchased by the National Gallery of Canada as Contemporary Art. Working in various mediums - photography, oil, acrylic, text on canvas, stone, cement, wood, ceramics and found objects - Beam explored the tensions between Western and Aboriginal relations. Featuring more than 50 of Beam’s most remarkable works from his early career in the 1970s to the end of his production in the early 2000s, this generously illustrated monograph illuminates the artist’s investigations into the metaphysical aspects of Western and Indigenous culture, while powerfully illustrating the wide-ranging physicality of his work.
National Gallery of Canada (10/2010) 140 pp 50 col. ill. 11 x 9 in softcover 978-0-88884-876-5 $50.00 Can. $56.95 U.S.
Carl Beam: The Whale of Our Being
Carl Beam gained international recognition in two watershed exhibitions, the National Gallery's Land, Spirit, Power and the Canadian Museum of Civilization's Indigena. His practice is based on collage and photographic imagery and is imbued with Native issues of land and repatriation. The Whale of Our Being, a multitude of paintings and prints produced since 1996, makes the whale a metaphor for looking at the world. "Under the umbrella of the whale are commodification and dollars and killing, all things possible. The Whale of Our Being includes whatever has happened to the whale, which in some kind of way happens to everything else."
The Robert McLaughlin Gallery (2002) 60 pp 13 col.ill. 8x8 in. softcover 0-9-21500-64-5 $10.00 Can./U.S.
Lori Blondeau: Who Do You Think You Are?
Dan Ring and Len Findley
Lori Blondeau is recognized internationally for her diverse artistic practice that employs cultural, critical and performative strategies which are informed by personal histories rooted in her First Nations heritage. Blondeau is most well-known for her performances that act as a commentary on stereotypes that continue to plague women of First Nations descent, exploring these stereotypes through satire in the hopes of rebalancing the public's perception of identity.
The Mendel Art Gallery (2009) 32 pp 26 col. ill. 10 x 8 in softcover 978-1-896359-60-1 $15.00 Can./U.S.
Tanya Harnett: Persona grata
Tanya Harnett’s new series of photographic works explore the many and diverse layers of her being through self-portraiture. Harnett reflects on her First Nations heritage and how it has been culturally defined and redefined through the parameters of a westernized education. The complexity of this history is subtly but relentlessly pursued through the lens of the camera.
Southern Alberta Art Gallery (06/2008) 58 pp 19 col. ill. 9 x 6 in softcover 978-1-894699-41-9 $20.00 Can. $22.95 U.S.
Faye HeavyShield: Blood
Paul Chaat Smith
Faye HeavyShield was born on Alberta's Stand Off Reserve and is a member of the Blood nation. Her minimalist installations are powerful fusions of her Christian and Native backgrounds. After a lengthy hiatus HeavyShield presents a powerful new work, Blood, an evocation of the personal, political and historical realities of the First Nations' experience. Paul Chaat Smith is associate curator at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian and author of Like a Hurricane: The Indian Movement from Alcatraz to Wounded Knee (New Press). His essay intertwines thoughts on the work of Faye HeavyShield and on the opening of National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC.
Southern Alberta Art Gallery (10/2005) 48 pp 14 ill. (6 col.) 9 x 6 in softcover 1-894699-30-0 $15.00 Can./U.S.
Robert Houle: Troubling Abstraction
Carol Podedworny, Mark A. Cheetham, Gerald McMaster & W. Jackson Rushing III
Robert Houle has been a visionary artist since the beginning of his career. "Native artists," he wrote in 1982, "are committed to involvement in the polemics of modern art. Meaning derives from living in the twentieth century, where painting ranges from realism to abstraction and sculpture varies from shamanism to assemblage." Employing the traditions of modernist painting, particularly as practiced by Jackson Pollock and Barnett Newman, Houle has tenaciously insisted on reciprocity among the aesthetic and cultural specificities with which he engages. After years of breathtaking solo exhibitions, he returns here to his first stylistic impulse: abstraction and the parfleche figure. This important publication, with three essays and an artist's statement, documents a unique and vital side to Houle's innovative artistic practice.
McMaster Museum of Art / The Robert McLaughlin Gallery (11/2007) 105 pp 36 ill. (24 col.) 7 x 5 in softcover 978-0-9783585-2-5 $20.00 Can./U.S.
Robert Houle's Palisade
Houle's visual arts practice applies formalist demands to activist initiatives to review the history of the interactions of the North American Indian and the colonizers. The eight large vertical canvases that make up Palisade represent the eight forts captured by Pontiac's Confederacy in 1763. Through the addition of digital graphic collages and historical documentation, Houle powerfully relates the colonial army's retaliation to these defeats: the systematic introduction of plagues, especially smallpox. Dyck's essay provides an interpretation of the work and its historical context. Robert Houle, a Manitoba native, has exhibited widely, notably at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art and The Art Gallery of Ontario.
Carleton University Art Gallery (2001) 42 pp 12 col. ill 8 x 9 in. 0-770904-53-X softcover $10.00 Can./U.S.
Kanata: Robert Houle's Histories
The book documents a native artist's response to the icon of Canadian History: Benjamin West's The Death of General Wolfe in the National Gallery of Canada, and contains an extensive interview with the artist.
Carleton University Art Gallery (1993) 27 pp ill. hardcover
In the Flesh : Lance Belanger, Dana Claxton, Brad Isaacs, Meryl McMaster (Out of print)
Ariel Smith & Ola Wlusek
Four artists of First Nations heritage examine the hierarchical relationship between humans and animals within a cultural and museological context, and investigate colonial politics and issues of gender as they relate to the mastery of the natural world. The video installation of Dana Claxton (Dakota) illustrates the decimation of the buffalo with its irreversible and distressing effects on the First Nations people and the landscape. The re-constituted animals of Lance Belanger (Maliseet) are positioned unsettlingly between the artifice of natural history and as objects of contemporary culture. The politicized space of the museum and the practice of taxidermy are investigated by Brad Isaacs (mixed heritage) in a series of colour photographs of animal hides and wildlife dioramas taken at North American and Canadian museums. Through self-portraiture, Meryl McMaster (Plains Cree) investigates the mix of dream and reality inside the hunting ground while symbolically evoking her bi-cultural identity in a strategy of resistance. Produced to coincide with the National Gallery of Canada's Sakahàn: International Indigenous Art exhibition. In English and French.
The Ottawa Art Gallery (12/2013) 83 pp 40 col. ill. 8.5 x 6 in softcover 9781894906463 $15.00 Can. $18.00 U.S.
Alex JanvierAlex Janvier is a canonical figure in Native American art history who, for over 50 years, has maintained a singular artistic practice that fuses aboriginal traditions with modernist abstraction. Influenced by Kandinsky and Klee, his murals and works on paper, canvas and linen explore the Dene geo-cultural landscape of his northern Alberta home with a combination of Indigenous iconography and contemporary realities within a personal aesthetic that is universal in reach: his works reference an ancient past, recent Indigenous history, and his own experience of colonization. Janvier’s synthesis of pictorialism and abstraction embodies a conceptual and formal aesthetic that has not been widely recognized in the work of first generation Native modernists. His original style, his influence on generations of artists, and his role in shifting the perception of Native art from a craft to fine arts status have made Alex Janvier one of the country’s most important artists working today. This major retrospective monograph celebrates a lifetime of creativity and knowledge gained through the artist’s love of the land, art and aboriginal culture. Essays by scholars and admirers offer original research and personal insight into Janvier’s imposing artistic and social stature. Alex Janvier was born in 1935 at Cold Lake First Nations, Alberta, and is of Dene Suline and Saulteaux descent. At the age of eight he was taken from his family and sent to Indian Residential School. Unlike most aboriginal artists of his time, he received formal art training and in 1960 graduated with honours from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and Art (now the Alberta College of Art and Design). He was then hired as a cultural adviser to the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs where, in 1965, he helped establish policy for the Cultural Affairs Program. He was subsequently appointed to the Aboriginal Advisory Committee for the Indians of Canada pavilion at Expo 67, to which he contributed several murals. In the early 1970s, along with Daphne Odjig and Norval Morrisseau, he helped form the Professional Native Indian Artists Incorporation, more commonly referred to as “The Indian Group of Seven”, one of the country’s first Aboriginal artists’ collectives and cultural advocacy groups. Alex Janvier has received numerous honours, including two Lifetime Achievement awards, from the Tribal Chiefs Institute, Cold Lake First Nations (2001) and the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation (2002), the Order of Canada (2007), and the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts (2008). Janvier’s work has been exhibited across the country at the Art Gallery of Alberta, Glenbow Museum, MacKenzie Art Gallery, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Canadian Museum of Civilization, Royal Ontario Museum, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and were featured in The National Gallery of Canada’s seminal 1992 exhibition Land Spirit Power. Alex Janvier lives and works in Cold Lake, Alberta.
Greg Hill, Lee-Ann Martin and Chris Dueker
National Gallery of Canada (11/2016) 200 pp approx. 100 col. ill. 11 x 9 in softcover 9780888849427 $40.00 Can. $45.00 U.S.
Mary Longman: Transposing Perspectives
Mary Longman and Jen Budney
Longman’s large-scale lenticular photographs are designed to correct, refine, and reinterpret the entrenched narratives and icons of Canadian history, and the history of colonialism in the Americas. A detailed essay by the artist provides further information on issues of representation of Aboriginal people, the biographies of important Aboriginal figures in modern Canadian history, and the history of colonialism in the Americas.
The Mendel Art Gallery (2011) 48 pp 16 col. ill. 10 x 10 in softcover 978-1-896359-76-2 $15.00 Can./U.S.
Meryl McMaster: Confluence (Out of print)Meryl McMaster’s stunning self-portraits explore the construction of identity through lineage, history and culture. Combining the spontaneity of photography with the manual production of props and sculptural garments, she builds sumptuous images that invite viewers to enter her world, to take what they wish, and to grow from their own conclusions. This first monograph dedicated to McMaster’s work features three major series. Wanderings asserts that, for Indigenous people, identity has never been static; In-Between Worlds explores the mixing and transforming of the artist’s bi-cultural identities; Ancestral features historical images of Aboriginal people digitally projected onto the subject thereby inserting them into the present. McMaster’s pursuit of knowledge, connection to the natural world, and relentless dedication to profound beauty make her photographs elegant and complex. As a young artist of Plains Cree and European background, she works in the era of important cultural and social movements such as Idle No More, in which Canada’s aboriginal people strive to reclaim their place and rights in their communities locally and nationally. These issues influence her political and social views, of which her photographs act as a visual record. In 2015 Meryl McMaster’s photographs were exhibited at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian and the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Santa Fe. She is a Contemporary Art Fellow of The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art. Gabrielle Moser is a writer and independent curator who currently teaches art history at OCAD University, Toronto. cheyanne turions received the inaugural Reesa Greenberg Curatorial Studies Award and the Hnatyshyn Foundation’s Emerging Curator of Contemporary Canadian Art Award. Prior to her position as curator at the Carleton University Art Gallery, Heather Anderson was Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art and Assistant Curator of Modern Canadian Art at the National Gallery of Canada. Co-published with The Rooms / Provincial Art Gallery Division, Thunder Bay Art Gallery, and University of Lethbridge Art Gallery.
Gabrielle Moser, cheyanne turions and Heather Anderson
Carleton University Art Gallery (05/2016) 80 pp 30 col. ill. 9.5 x 6.5 in hardcover 9780770905958 $20.00 Can. $25.00 U.S. (Out of print)
Nadia Myre: Encounters
Sandra Dyck, Amanda Jane Graham, Édith-Anne Pageot & Colette Tougas
Nadia Myre is a multidisciplinary artist whose work explores themes of language, culture and memory and who sources the culture of her Algonquin ancestors as a way of confronting contemporary realities. In concert with this investigation is a keen interest in creating works which expand over time and foster participatory involvement. Myre attracted international attention when, in 2000-2002, she beaded over all 56 pages of the annotated Indian Act of Canada with the help of over 200 participants. In 2005, she launched The Scar Project, an ongoing ‘open lab’ where viewers participate by sewing their scars - real or symbolic - onto stretched canvases and writing their ‘scar stories’ on paper. This monograph provides a first comprehensive look at the Montreal-based artist's remarkable career. Nadia Myre has participated in numerous high-profile exhibitions throughout Canada and the United States: Hide: Skins as Material and Metaphor (Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Santa Fe), It Is What It Is: Recent Acquisitions of New Canadian Art (National Gallery of Canada), and Vantage Point: The Contemporary Native Art Collection (Museum of the American Indian, Washington). Published with Éditions Art Mûr. In English and French.
Carleton University Art Gallery (04/2011) 96 pp 30 col. ill. 10.5 x 9.5 in softcover 978-2-92324-304-7 $45.00 Can. $50.00 U.S.
Glenna Matoush: Requicken
Ryan Rice & John Grande
Ojibway artist Glenna Matoush was trained as a printmaker but now works primarily as a painter. Her expressionistic style moves fluidly between the figurative and the abstract and her work is informed directly by nature through the integration of birch bark, leaves, earth and stones into her work. Matoush addresses contemporary social and political Aboriginal issues, including the environmental destruction she has witnessed in Cree territory in Northern Quebec, and the despair caused by AIDS and the reclamation of culture. This first monograph on the work of Glenna Matoush contains essays by Ryan Rice, Aboriginal curator in residence at the gallery, and by well-known arts writer John Grande.
Carleton University Art Gallery (09/2006) 40 pp 18 col. ill. 9 x 7.5 softcover 0-7709-0210-2 $20.00 Can./U.S.
Marianne Nicolson: The Return of Abundance
Charlotte Townsend-Gault and Lisa Baldissera
Marianne Nicolson's major painting works and sculptural installations embody current cultural narratives while incorporating traditional First Nations formats. The artist comments, "Each of the works in this exhibition considers the temporal relationship of contemporary Kwakwaka'wakw experience to our historical experience. My works examine the complexities of cultural change and adaptation on both the personal and communal level." Nicolson's work has been exhibited at National Museum of the American Indian and International Museum of Film and Photography.
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (02/2008) 38 pp 8 col. ill. 10 x 8 in softcover 978-0-88885-191-8 $14.95 Can./U.S
Daphne Odjig (Out of print)
Bonnie Devine, Duke Redbird & Robert Houle
The discovery, in the 1950s, of the ancient iconography of the Algonkian people was a lightning rod for the collective Aboriginal conscience in Canada. When Daphne Odjig and Norval Morrisseau began to produce paintings in the 1960s depicting the Algonkian legends they were heralded as the heirs of that ancient lineage. As Morrisseau pursued his characteristic iconic style, Odjig developed a varied and experimental graphic and narrative practice. Comparisons have been drawn between her work and cubism, surrealism and abstract-expressionism. Yet, while her aesthetic investigations place her outside any one stylistic genre, her themes and imagery remain distinctly Aboriginal. The drawings and paintings presented here represent forty-four years of Daphne Odjig's artistic production and include examples of her legend paintings, history murals, erotica, abstractions and landscapes.
National Gallery of Canada (2007) 144 pp col. ill. 11 x 8 in softcover 978-0-88884-840-6 $25.00 Can./U.S. (Out of print)
Annie Pootoogook: Kinngait CompositionsWith drawings spanning 2001 to 2006, this publication focuses on Kinngait (Cape Dorset), Nunavut, the Arctic community that has been the focus of Annie Pootoogook's practice. While her drawings offer an unflinching look at life in a community in transition, they also bears witness to the bonds among its people. In the context of the broad popular appeal of Inuit graphics, these works are distinguished by a disconcerting emotional reserve. The artist achieves a cool observational quality that pushes at the edges of comedy or hysteria, a condition of charged understatement that has drawn intense critical interest to her work. Annie Pootoogook is the granddaughter of the renowned graphic artist Pitseolak Ashoona and daughter of artist Napachie Pootoogook. Annie Pootoogook received the prestigious Sobey Art Award in 2006. Her drawings have been exhibited at the Power Plant (Toronto) and the Museum of theAmerican Indian (New York).
Agnes Etherington Art Centre (08/2011) 64 pp 30 col. ill.10 x 8 in softcover 978-1-55339-260-6 $26.00 Can. $32.00 U.S.
Sakahàn: International Indigenous Art
Edited by Greg Hill, Candice Hopkins and Christine Lalonde
Sakahàn: International Indigenous Art celebrates a growing international commitment to the collection, study and exhibition of Indigenous art. Featuring more than 75 artists from around the world, this remarkable project places indigenous art squarely at the centre of contemporary art produced today. As well as providing an outstanding opportunity to see work by some of the most innovative contemporary artists, this ambitious publication allows us to build knowledge and further understanding. These artworks cite histories, stories and perspectives that emerge from specific local contexts and, as we live in an increasingly globalized world, these events affect us all. This profusely illustrated publication features over 150 artworks by artists from a wide range of countries, notably, Canada, the United States, Mexico, Australia, India, Japan, Finland and Guatemala and many more. The artists' approaches are as varied as their chosen media, which include performance art, drawing, installations, painting, photography, sculpture and video, with several new works created specifically for the exhibition. In the language of the Algonquin “Sakahàn” means to light a fire, which this publication aims to do. Contributors include Albert Dumont, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Annapurna Garimella, Linda Grussani, Catalina Lozano, Ngahiraka Mason, Jimena Mendoza, Jimmy Manning, Jolene Rickard, Irene Snarby, Gerald Vizenor, and Yuh-Yao Wan.
National Gallery of Canada (05/2013) 288 pp 250 ill. 9.5 x 8 in softcover 978-0-88884-912-0 $39.95 Can. $45.00 U.S.
Sanattiaqsimajut: Inuit Art from the Carleton University Art Gallery Collection
Sandra Dyck, Ingo Hessel et al
Ottawa’s Carleton University Art Gallery holds one of the richest Inuit art collections in the country. This profusely illustrated hardcover publication features over 100 works - each one reproduced in fill colour - ranging from sculpture to drawings and prints, all of which are “Sanattiaqsimajut”, or “things that are finely made”. Two major essays discussing the history of the collection and its many narrative threads are accompanied by thirty-three individual texts that take distinctive thematic, biographical and formal approaches. These essays are written by experts in the field including Patricia Feheley, Robert Kardosh, Christine Lalonde, Marybelle Mitchell, Judith Nasby, Crystal Parsons, Leslie Boyd Ryan, Pitaloosie Saila, Norman Vorano, Darlene Coward Wight and Norman Zepp. Sandra Dyck is curator at the Gallery and author of numerous studies on the collection. Ingo Hessel is curator at Toronto’s Museum of Inuit Art and author of Inuit Art: An Introduction.
Carleton University Art Gallery (11/2009) 232 pp 125 col. ill. 11 x 9 in hardcover 978-0-7709-0533-0 $60.00 Can. $68.00 U.S.
Tania Willard: Claiming Space
Chris Bose & Jordan Strom
Tania Willard's art offers a passionate probing of First Nations’ land issues. This first monograph presents paintings, large-scale graphite drawings and a panoramic mural through which the artist traces the 1926 purchase and relocation of a six-ton petroglyph rock installed in Vancouver’s Stanley Park. Willard considers this cultural artifact's historical role as an exemplary object of 'authentic Indian Art' within the mid-20th century tourism industry.
Kamloops Art Gallery (08/2009) 64 pp 20 col. ill. 9.5 x 6.5 in softcover 978-1-895497-78-6 $14.99 Can. $16.99 U.S.
The world upside down, as visualized by artists, is one in which the symbolic order is turned on its head. This publication of a group exhibition surveys the strategy of symbolic inversion used by contemporary artists, while also providing historical context on Western and Indigenous North American traditions of inversion. As an artistic strategy, inversion illuminates and challenges the visual conventions that police social hierarchies - such as man against woman, European against Aboriginal and good against evil. In each inversion the artist turns a hierarchical dichotomy upside down. In most cases the dichotomy breaks down under the strain of its own absurdity and liberating us, if only for the moment, from its tyranny. Among the artists using a wide variety of strategies are Rosalie Favell, Shelley Niro, Lori Blondeau and General Idea.
The World Upside Down
Richard William Hill
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria / Agnes Etherington Art Centre / Musée d’art de Joliette (01/2009)
176 pp 64 ill. (43 col.) col. 11 x 7.5 in hardcover 978-1-894773-28-7 $29.99 Can. $32.00 U.S.