Friday, April 14, 2017

Work Of An Artist

I am finishing the series on Alex Janvier's retrospective today from the National Gallery with this set. The True West is a 1975 acrylic painting that weaves in First Nations symbols and spirituality.

This trio of paintings are all from 1986. Fan Wing, Wilderness Haven, and Blue Mobile suit each other nicely.

Lubicon is a 1988 painting that shows his frustration with the federal government and energy extraction companies over the treatment of the Lubicon Lake Cree, who had been in the midst of a long claims case with the government at the time. The use of red as a dominant colour in the painting is meant to symbolize hypocrisy. 

Apple Factory is another politically charged painting, from 1989, conveying the idea of the residential school system as an apple factory: red on the outside but white on the inside, which was an insult among First Nations peoples to describe those who went through them.

Alberta Rose is the title of this 1977 painting.

Sakulay is a 1992 painting that serves as an early study for his Morning Star mural. Sakulay means sunrays, and the painting reflects the importance of rituals based on solar alignment.

Nehobetthe (Land Before They Arrived) is a 1992 acrylic depicting the lives of the Denesuline people in the north before the arrival of white colonizers.

These two watercolour paintings, both from 2014, are titled Ten Souls and Beyond A Dream.

I am finishing my look at the retrospective with this untitled acrylic painting from 2009. I hope you've enjoyed this look at his work. Tomorrow we'll be starting to look in the world artists galleries.


  1. It's interesting. But I confess the imagery doesn't speak to me - except, possibly, in Nehobetthe.

  2. For some reason, some of these paintings remind me of human innards. That's a good thing, though. What I like most about them is his use of color and light.

  3. These are wonderful as well, William! Thanks for posting.

  4. ...such exciting, colorful images.

  5. Apple Factory = Most thought provoking
    "Sakulay" = Geometrical feast for eyes


  6. i really enjoy all the orange coloring .. makes them really stand out ... or would that be coral? any who that family of coloring ... helps them jump off the page. ( ;

  7. @Linda: I agree.

    @Mike: everyone has different artistic taste.

    @Lowell: that's a good way of looking at it.

    @Marleen: you're welcome.

    @Tom: they are.

    @Janis: definitely.

    @Beth: I agree.

  8. Yes, I've enjoyed seeing some of Alex Janvier's work. I notice today how the backgrounds are bright and emphasize the work.

  9. I would have a hard time choosing a favorite among these but, I think I like the one in the 3rd photo best.

  10. I really like the Lubicon although all of these pieces are great!

  11. What a wonderful exhibit. My favorite is Nehobetthe.

  12. Very unusual art...I like it , especially the use of colors.

  13. 'Alberta Rose' is my favourite.

  14. Thank you - enjoy your weekend William

  15. @Red: they do.

    @Sharon: it's a good one.

    @RedPat: I agree.

    @Bill: I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    @Janey: me too.

    @Klara: it is a good one.

    @Cloudia: thank you!

    @Kay: indeed.

  16. These are quite unusual, but I do like the colours the artist has chosen.
    Thanks for sharing them here, and also the previous posts.
    An enjoyable series.

    All the best Jan

  17. They are amazing. White settlers have done such harm to both first nations and minorities.