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Jul 8 Nov 20 '22

List of Works:

  1. Grandfather Teaching and Showing Grandson the Value of Shamanic Circle Cycles, by Norval Morrisseau.
  2. Glow #1 and Glow #2, by Kapwani Kiwanga.
  3. Portrait Technoir, by Gonzalo Reyes Rodriguez.
  4. New Photographs: Technoir I, Untitled, Untitled (Piso de Isaac), and Untitled (Madonna), by Gonzalo Reyes Rodriguez.
  5. Granny Teaches Grandson, by Alec Aliknak Banksland.
  6. Granny Teaching Grandchildren, by Elsie Klengenberg.
  7. lucky to be me, by Preston Pavlis.
  8. your skin behind the lattice, by Preston Pavlis.
  9. Indecision, by Daphne Odjig.
  10. Knowledge Transference III (when the one to author the cut is gone, a small hole in the shape of a portal forms), by Jeneen Frei Njootli.
  11. More than medicine should burn for you, by Jeneen Frei Njootli.

 

Descriptions:

1. Norval Morrisseau. Grandfather Teaching and Showing Grandson the Value of Shamanic Circle Cycles, circa 1990. Acrylic on canvas. Winnipeg Art Gallery, Gift of DuPont Canada, 2018-91.1 and 2.

Two canvas panels are saturated with bold, bright colours: deep reds, electric greens, blues, and purples. Each panel is 3 by 4 feet, approximately the size of a small coffee table top. They are hung side-by-side, the edges of their black frames touching. This painting demonstrates Morrisseau’s signature Woodlands style, featuring pronounced black outlines, vivid colours, and figures represented through an x-ray-like perspective.

Large yellow circles anchor the panels together against a background of a clover green pasture and bright blue sky. Representing the sun on the left and a root bulb on the right, they are outlined in red and black. In both, a school of multicoloured fish swim from left to right.

Filling the upper half of the left panel, the sun in the sky shines on all present. Underneath, two rabbits and three small birds stand and observe.

The right-side panel shows the grandfather, and grandson in front, sitting in right-facing profile. They have black wavy hair, red faces and hands and their bodies are multicoloured. Their gazes and hands rest on the root bulb. From the bulb grows a thin black tree with black branches, round red and blue leaves, and a small purple bird perched on a branch.

The outer edge of each figure touches the one beside it—all elements are connected.

 

2. Kapwani Kiwanga. Glow #1, #2. 2019. Wood, stucco, acrylic, steel, LEDs. Courtesy of the Artist and Galerie Poggi, Paris, KAKI0098 and KAKI0038.

These rectangular, monolith-like sculptures stand just under five feet tall, or slightly above a push button at a pedestrian crossing. They are approximately 8 inches deep, or the length of a new, unsharpened pencil. They vary in width between 23 to 30 inches, or the distance between fingertip and elbow or shoulder. They are smooth, black, angular, and each is accented by the luminosity of an embedded bright white light.

In #1, the sculpture has uniform edges on all sides but one. Along one edge, a long tube of light is embedded in the rectangle, lighting a small wedge around it as it is reflects off of the floor and very slightly off of the black to either side of the bright white glow.

In #2 the shape of the sculpture mirrors that of the corner of a room. It has a round light affixed near the top edge, inside the curve of the single surface. Here the orb glows bright white, casting a halo and illuminating the blackness directly around it.

3. Gonzalo Reyes Rodríguez. Portrait Technoir, 2021. 4K video. Courtesy of the Artist.

A split screen video shows an overhead view of a black gridded mat on the left. A hand slides onto the mat and exchanges a photograph into the frame throughout the video. Correspondingly, on the right, subjects filmed talking-head-style describe what they observe and intuit from the photos on the left. One subject is filmed traditionally, head and shoulders visible against a light background. She has long, dark, wavy hair parted in the middle, and wears a denim top, pink lipstick, and gold hoop earrings.  She holds the photos, inspecting some very closely. The other speaker is shown on the screen of a black laptop which sits on a slightly reflective table. He has chin length dark hair, a moustache, glasses, and a green and black shirt. In the upper right of the computer screen, a thumbnail displays Reyes Rodríguez video calling him. Both subjects discuss their impressions of Mexican youths and families in the photographs, which span the course of multiple years. Near the end of the video when music begins, the final photo shows a person standing in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, at night. The camera flash over exposes and obscures the details of the person’s face with white light. The song continues as the screen fades to black. After 12 minutes, the film loops and begins again.

 

4. Gonzalo Reyes Rodríguez. From the series, New Photographs, 2021. Colour photographs, editions of 3. Courtesy of the Artist.

The following works from Reyes Rodríguez’s New Photographs series illustrate a collection of rectangular, intimate, and gently lit colour photographs featuring close-up portraits of a variety of subjects. Each is in a thin black frame and arranged on either a black mat with a directional grid or a green gridded self-healing cutting mat.

  • Gonzalo Reyes Rodríguez. Technoir I, from the series, New Photographs, 2021. Colour photographs, editions of 3. Courtesy of the Artist.

This artwork is 20 by 30 inches, or the lengths from fingertip to elbow high and fingertip to shoulder wide. A number of portrait images are arranged on a black mat background. The two central photos feature their subjects partially veiled by the lines of artificial light through horizontal blinds. The men in these photos stare provocatively into the camera in relaxed or supine positions. The photos surrounding these centre images are all placed so that only part of them are visible, the people in them either partially cropped or obscured by flash or low exposure.

  • Gonzalo Reyes Rodríguez. Untitled, from the series, New Photographs, 2021. Colour photographs, editions of 3. Courtesy of the Artist.

On a dark green mat with lighter green gridlines, five photos are foregrounded. They feature two close ups of men of colour with light brown and olive skin and dark hair. The person on the left has loose waves of brown hair, a clean-shaven face, and is wearing a blue windbreaker. He rests his chin in his left palm and looks out at the viewer. The person on the right has tight black coiled hair, a short beard and moustache, and leans back with his left hand behind his head, elbow out and eyes closed. He is wearing a black t-shirt and grey glasses. The three other photos are more widely focused, the environments of their subjects more visible than the closeups. One person dances, caught mid-air within a square border made of floor lights; another sits in the windowsill of an apartment with knees up, other apartment balconies visible behind him; and in a sepia-tinged photo, a person sleeps, head tilted towards the doorway as light streams in through a window behind them.

  • Gonzalo Reyes Rodríguez. Untitled (Piso de Isaac), from the series, New Photographs, 2021. Colour photographs, editions of 3. Courtesy of the Artist.

Approximately the size of a sheet of legal paper, this piece presents two images encompassed by the black frame–the larger image is in the foreground and frames a small portrait within it. The foreground fills the frame and shows a window with sheer white curtains glowing from a golden hour sunset. A grey cityscape lays beyond the glass while the ledge is filled with various potted plants and flowers. Through a cut-out window in the bottom third of the image, an inset rectangular photo with a white border shows a dimly lit and shadowed image of a man illuminated by amber light through slats of horizontal blinds. He is bare chested and laying back on one side, his arm raised over his head. There is a band of shadow falling diagonally across his face.

  • Gonzalo Reyes Rodríguez. Untitled (Madonna), from the series, New Photographs, 2021. Colour photographs, editions of 3. Courtesy of the Artist.

This piece is about the size of a leaf of legal paper in landscape orientation. Two images are encompassed by the frame. The larger image is in the foreground and frames a small portrait within it. The foreground fills the frame with blues, white, grey, green, and red of a zoomed-in blanket resembling a large painted mural. The illustration features two historically dressed figures during the Mexican Revolution: a man with wide hat, dark hair, and moustache; and a woman with dark hair and a flouncing, off-the-shoulder, blue dress. She holds a staff tied with the Mexican flag. In the centre, an inset rectangular photo with white border shows a young man with dark wavy hair looking directly into the camera. His hands are parked in his pockets, angling his elbows slightly back. He wears a faded white graphic t-shirt with an 80s-era Madonna (circa her Blonde Ambition era).

 

5. Alec Aliknak Banksland. Printmaker: Mona Ohoveluk. Granny Teaches Grandson, 1986. Stencil on paper, Co-op 1/3. Winnipeg Art Gallery, Gift of Holman Eskimo Co-operative, G-90-399.

Utilizing a colour palette of blues, greys, and brown, Granny Teaches Grandson shows the pair in full winter clothing: parkas, pants, kamiit (boots), and mittens, all of which are dark and medium blue with light grey trim. Granny holds Grandson’s hand on her left and a pole on her right. Her face is light brown, wrinkled with age and experience, and tattooed in the traditional style of the Inuvialuit. Grandson’s face is turned up to hers, his back facing the viewer. She smiles as they run after three geese. Granny is showing the child how to catch geese on the ground by throwing a bolas line at their legs to prevent the geese from flying, making them easy to catch without weapons. In this print, the line wraps around the leg of a goose who runs along the ground while the other two are in mid-flight.

 

6. Elsie Klengenberg. Granny Teaches Grandchildren, 1992. Stencil on paper, Co-op Proof/50. Winnipeg Art Gallery, Gift of Holman Eskimo Co-operative, G-92-234.

This softly rendered illustration shows a group of three children, an older youth, and a grandmother in the centre of the frame. The piece is 1.5 by 2 feet, or the size of a large computer screen. Dressed warmly in calf-high kamiit (caribou or seal skin boots) and earth-toned parkas with fur trim around the hood and collar, their black-brown hair hangs down their back, tucked into the parka hood. They sit in a circle around an agvik (board to clean seal skins) made of hide and stretched flat on the ground.

The supine body of a grey seal with dark spots across its back lays on the board. Two uluuk (semi-lunar shaped traditional woman’s knives) lay next to the seal while the third is held in Granny’s hand. Behind them, fish hang from a line to dry, and a sandy brown tent made from caribou or sealskin stands below a quiet rainbow arched over the scene.

 

7. Preston Pavlis. lucky to be me. 2019. Acrylic, embroidery, and fabric on unstretched canvas. Private collection. Courtesy of the Artist and Bradley Ertaskiran.

In this three-dimensional acrylic and fabric painting, a figure sits in a light wooden chair, gazing softly forward with a shy and knowing smile. Dressed in a burgundy button-up shirt and loose khaki pants, his ankles and socked feet hang below the bottom edge of the canvas. His black hair is cropped short against his dark brown skin, and he is pictured here with multiple pairs of arms in varying positions. One pair lay in his lap, wrists crossed; another rest on the arms of the chair, hands alert and fingers spread; he rests his chin in the palm of a third. Behind him, a red brick fireplace with dark wood mantle is set against a deep purple wall. The mantle holds a small potted plant. On the left edge of the room, a white fabric lace curtain ripples in the dark green frame of a full-length window. This painting measures 7.5 by 5.75 feet.

 

8. Preston Pavlis. your skin behind the lattice. 2019. Acrylic, oil pastel, and fabric on unstretched canvas. Private collection. Courtesy of the Artist and Bradley Ertaskiran.

In this portrait the subject, a young Black man with a short afro sits on a tufted, dusty rose bed with white headboard and brass finials. The walls behind him are partially faded and worn from time, and words and doodles appear sporadically amid the faded teal and mauve pattern. He looks ahead, knees drawn up towards his chest, and holds a single white flower in one of his two right hands. The other right arm stretches behind him. He wears thigh high stockings, black fishnets that show his manicured toenails. A band of sheer brown fabric lines the right edge of the painting, which measures approximately 5.75 by 5.5 feet.

 

9. Daphne Odjig. Indecision, 1981. Graphite on paper. Winnipeg Art Gallery, Gift of Sally and Morley Shuckett, G-94-67.

Indecision is a 4 by 4 inch drawing, approximately the size and dimensions of a square-shaped coaster. On a white background, etching-style line work shows three curvaceous figures–their bodies are comprised of simple circles, triangles, and soft angles. Two face each other, their triangular arms reaching toward each other. The third is mostly obscured behind the person on the left. Each has closed eyes, and their heads are slightly bowed. The dynamic hatching and shading technique surrounding them animates the quiet scene.

 

10. Jeneen Frei Njootli. Knowledge Transmission III, 1985-ongoing. (when the one to author the cut is gone, a small hole in the shape of a portal forms), 2019-ongoing. Vinyl on wall, event with guest. Courtesy of the Artist and Macaulay & Co. Fine Art.

A vinyl image is pasted flat, encompassing the full height of an 8 foot wall, spanning 16 feet wide. This photographic image is approximately the size of a two-car garage door. The photo depicts an intimate close-up of the artist’s skin. A band of woven beadwork, intricate and ornate in pattern, has been pressed into the surface of their skin. The small, round, faint indentations illustrate the amount of labour, skill, intention, and cultural history present in the beadwork itself.

During the associated event with this piece, when the one to author the cut is gone, a small hole in the shape of a portal forms, the image is scraped off using a hide scraper. At the completion of this and for the remainder of the exhibit, the wall is scuffed and abraded with the vinyl now on the floor at the base of the wall in accumulated shreds.

 

11. Jeneen Frei Njootli. More than medicine should burn for you, 2020. Cotton hoodie (artist’s own), bleach, fringe. Collection of Murray and Christine Quinn.

This artwork is a black hoodie that has been bleached to a brownish-orange colour, with variations in tone and brighter spots throughout. Text remains black on the sweater, which is displayed flat on the wall, its back facing the gallery, and its hood up. The text spells out in all capitals: MORE THAN MEDICINE SHOULD BURN FOR YOU. The text goes across the hood, across the arms and back, and throughout the back of the sweater. A handful of blue hair peeks out from under the hood and rests over the right shoulder, onto the back of the sweater. Black fringe is attached along the arms, and dangles a bit longer than 1 foot below the sweater. The sweater itself is approximately 2.5 feet from base to the tip of the hood, or about the width of an oven.

 

Thank you to m. patchwork monoceros for the Transmissions artwork image descriptions.

 

With the generous support of the Manitoba Arts Council

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