June 28 to September 21, 2014
Organized and circulated by the Vancouver Art Gallery
Indigenous art from the Northwest Coast is recognized around the world for its highly developed aesthetic style, intelligent design and skillful craftsmanship. Many artists, past and present, have made important contributions to the advancement of these unique forms but Charles Edenshaw, also known by his Haida name Da.a xiigang, is regarded as one of the great masters.
This exhibition constitutes the first comprehensive survey of works by this ninetheenth century carver of wood, argillite and metal and affords a rare opportunity to consider Charles Edenshaw’s creative output as a totality. It is structured around four principal themes that expand on aspects of Edenshaw’s art and his legacy. The first section, Haida Traditions, features a number of objects the artist made for his family and for practical use that demonstrate the depth of cultural values imbedded in his work. The next section, featuring carved platters, is focused on Edenshaw’s representation of Haida stories and his development of Narrative structures. The section that follows is dedicated to Edenshaw’s celebrated Style and draws attention to defining characteristics of his aesthetic through a range of objects, including model poles and bracelets as well as the painted designs on hats and baskets. The final section centres on the artist’s incorporation of diverse cultural influences and the complex New Forms that resulted through increased contact with Europeans, such as walking sticks and silver spoons.
Charles Edenshaw is organized and circulated by the Vancouver Art Gallery and curated by Robin K. Wright, Professor of Art History, Curator and Director of the Bill Holm Center at the Burke Museum, University of Washington and Daina Augaitis, Chief Curator/Associate Director of the Vancouver Art Gallery, with Haida advisors James Hart and Robert Davidson. The exhibition is made possible with support from The Audain Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Government of Canada through the Museums Assistance Program of the Department of Canadian Heritage, and Mr. David Aisenstat.
About the Vancouver Art Gallery
Visit the Vancouver Art Gallery to see major exhibitions of works by the world’s leading contemporary artists and history’s greatest masters. Founded in 1931, the Gallery is Western Canada’s largest art museum, and home to a spectacular collection of more than 11,000 artworks by Canadian and international artists. For more information, please visit vanartgallery.bc.ca.
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