Tag Archives: daphne odjig

Picasso’s Grandmother is Canadian

In 1986 when the curators of the Picasso Museum in Antibes France decided to paint a memorial artwork to honour Picasso, a Canadian woman was chosen as one of four artists from around the world to help create the memorial. Her name was Daphne Odjig.  

Daphne died last year at age 97 after a remarkable career.  She was  dubbed  Picasso’s Grandmother by fellow indigenous artist Norval Morrisseau. Daphne discovered the paintings of Picasso in the 1950s and carefully studied and analyzed his work. Picasso upon seeing Daphne’s work at an exhibition called her  ‘a remarkable artist’. 

tribute-to-picasso

Tribute to Picasso by Daphne Odjig

Daphne is sometimes referred to as the Grandmother of Indigenous Art.    Joseph Sanchez says Daphne was indeed a ‘grandmother’ figure to many indigenous artists. “Her energy guided us,” he says.  She also gave indigenous artists financial support by buying their paintings for her gallery.

friends rejoicing by daphne odjigI always end my Picasso tours at the Winnipeg Art Gallery by going to look at Daphne’s painting Friends Rejoicing in our collection and tell my tour participants about Canada’s Grandmother Picasso. 

Other posts…….

The Song My Paddle Sings

An Award Winner Inspires Teens

A Different View of the World

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Filed under Art, Canada, WInnipeg Art Gallery

The Easter Story at the Winnipeg Art Gallery

Two paintings displayed side by side at the Winnipeg Art Gallery have an Easter message for me. And Peter followed afar off by William Ashby McCloy

The first one is And Peter Followed From Afar Off  by American painter William Ashby McCloy.  It is a Good Friday scene.  Jesus is hanging upside down on a cross shaped like an X.  Over to the right you can see Jesus’ disciple Peter who denounced Jesus three times.  The cock that crowed after the three betrayals is pictured. So are the people Peter spoke with denying he had any connections to Jesus.  Could the man in front be Judas who betrayed Jesus for money? Artist McCloy gives us a grey, sad canvas full of rejection, violence and guilt. friends rejoicing by daphne odjig

Right beside the crucifixion painting is this vibrant and heart lifting canvas by the famous First Nations artist Daphne Odjig.  It is called Friends Rejoicing.  A group of women are celebrating the birth of a child. Easter is a time of rebirth and new beginnings and Daphne’s painting fairly bursts with the joy of a new beginning and the happiness it brings to a community of people. For me it beautifully captures the spirit of Easter Sunday a day to celebrate the resurrection of hope. 

I have no idea why the curator chose to place these two paintings side by side, but I love their juxtaposition.  One of our former guides at the WAG Perry Nodelman gave a talk at the University of Valencia in Spain in March.  He said that in an art gallery…..

…..where pictures are hung, how the floor plan of the galleries invites viewers to move through them— makes each picture part of a larger text, a larger story…

The way these two paintings are placed in the gallery makes them part of the Easter story for me. 

Other posts……….

Easter Retrospective

Blood Upon the Rose

A Storyboard in a Painting

Whale Bone Sculptures

 

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Filed under Art, Holidays, WInnipeg Art Gallery

Creation of the World

daphne odjig The great spirit Nanabush works to build the earth on the shell of a turtle. He forms rich flowing bands of land, hills and mountains that eventually transform into a female who seems to be praying.  A beaver, otter and muskrat surround Nanabush. Waves wash upwards from the river into the sky drawing together the land, water and air. And above it all the thunderbird looks down watching what is happening in the world.  

Daphne_Odjig_2008 Creation of the World  is a mural by First Nations artist Daphne Odjig painted for the Manitoba Museum in 1972.  On a visit to the museum yesterday I found out there are plans to give this iconic artwork a more prominent spot in  the museum after a renovation process is complete. Roland Sawatsky, the museum’s curator told us that relocating the mural is part of a larger effort to make the museum a place where many different perspectives on the history of Manitoba are exhibited. 

Other posts……..

A Different Perspective

Was North America Created on the Back of a Turtle?

Edge of the Trees- An Aboriginal Perspective

 

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