Formline Modern is an exhibition at the Art Gallery of Carleton University in Ottawa (CUAG), running until December 14, 2014. Drawing heavily on a collection of Northwest Coast graphic art donated by George and Joanne MacDonald, the show explores silkscreen printing on the BC coast since the 1960’s. The MacDonald collection, 800 limited edition First Nations prints, was donated to CUAG in 1999.
“Working during a period of renewed cultural production, coastal artists drew upon—and departed from—traditional imagery and the “rules” of formline design. Through the novel medium of silkscreen printing, these artists engaged with new narrative forms and content, shaping a uniquely indigenous modernism that challenged conventions and ultimately expanded tradition.”
Artists include Freda Diesing, Beau Dick, Robert Davidson, Chuuchkamalthnii (formerly Ron Hamilton), and Ozistalis (the late Chief Henry Speck).
Alongside Formline Modern at CUAG, Vancouver artist Raymond Boisjoly has created an exhibition generated by his study of the MacDonald Collection. Boisjoly “considers Indigenous artists’ use of printmaking, and the status, production, and circulation of prints in relation to Indigenous literary traditions.” See http://cuag.carleton.ca/index.php/exhibitions/242/