For my turn to present an artist of the month, I decided on an artist that may not be very well known to you: Alex Janvier
. I was introduced to his work via a television program that I watched with fascination in my young adult years in the basement of my parentsí home when I should have been studying for a calculus examination one evening. Though I had no serious impulse to create visual art at the time, I regularly doodled to stay awake in university classes, and found Alex Janvierís work very inspirational. To this day, when I am doodling I am drawn to long flowing curvilinear shapes like the ones he creates.
A Canadian artist, he was inducted into the Order of Canada in 2007, and in 2008 won a Governor Generalís Award for distinguished career achievement in the visual arts. He was a member of the Professional National Indian Artists Inc. which was referred to by the press as the Indian Group of Seven
. He has had a profound impact on artists, and particularly aboriginal artists, in Canada.
Of Dene Suline
descent, he came from humble beginnings, and was taken from his family and sent to the Blue Quills Indian Residential School
at the age of 8. He credits Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee, but also the beadwork and birch bark basketry of his mother and relatives and influences on his art. His art is inspired by a broad range of political, historical, cultural, spiritual, and mythical issues and experiences. I find it endlessly fascinating to try to interpret the forms in his works.
Last year I was in Ottawa and had the opportunity to view one of his most impressive works of art at the Canadian Museum of Civilization
: Morning Star
. I must have spent a full hour admiring and photographing this 4500 square foot work of art on inside of the dome of the museum. Please forgive the compositions, as you would need a super-wide-angle lens to get the whole work in the frame. As it was, I looked pretty unusual laying on my back in the middle of the floor of the museum shooting the photos below. Check out the previous link for a full dome photograph.
Here are some additional pictures of his smaller works in his website gallery
and in a local gallery
Note: Previous months
February: Marc Chagall
March: Jacob Lawrence
April: Frida Kahlo
May: Damien Hirst