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Monday, March 29, 2010

Being an Art Historian: Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun Drawings

I was first introduced to the art of Coast Salish artist Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun (you can view many of his works on his website) in a Northwest Coast art history course several years ago.

Lawrence Paul describes his work on his website: "The political discourse of my work is involved in environmentalism, global analyze where First Nations are within this world. . .You have a flag, I have a Motherland."

I have been lucky to have seen many of his colourful paintings at various galleries/museums around the world. For instance, the Museum of Ethnography in Berlin has one of Yuxweluptun's paintings at the beginning of their Northwest Coast collection, and the Vancouver Art Gallery often shows a few of his works for different exhibits.
Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun Untitled (Ovoid Portrait) Undated / photo Tanya Goehring From Canadian Art magazine.

Yuxweluptun, who got his honours degree at Emily Carr University in Vancouver, has a new exhibit at the Contemporary Art Gallery. The exhibit Neo-Native Drawings and Other Works: Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun (guest-curated by Petra Watson) is a collection of drawings  from the mid 1980s until 2009. The drawings are primarily preliminary sketches for his paintings, but the exhibit also included a few sketchbooks. I loved seeing the drawings that came before the paintings in the 1995 exhibit Born to Live and Die on Your Colonialist Reservations, the catalogue for which I have been enjoying for the last few years. The exhibit runs until May 16th.