A woman that artist Norval Morrisseau dubbed “Picasso’s grandmother” will be the first First Nations female artist to have a solo exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada.
The Drawings and Paintings of Daphne Odjig: A Retrospective Exhibition — featuring 56 works spanning 44 years of Odjig’s artistic production — is one of two exhibits to open at the gallery Friday.
The other, Miller Brittain: When the Stars Threw Down Their Spears provides insight into the emotion-filled works of the New Brunswick native.
“Daphne Odjig holds an important place among the great artists of Canada,” said NGC director Marc Mayer. “She is respected nationally and internationally as a matriarchal figure who has captured her people’s voice, history and legends in a unique artistic style. We are honoured to be celebrating Daphne Odjig’s impressive career in this in-depth exploration of her work.”
While Odjig’s exhibit includes examples of the 90-year-old’s legend paintings, history murals, erotica, abstractions and landscapes presented in six themes — Our History, Our Legends, Pow Wow at Wikwemikong, Tales of the Smokehouse, Our Land and Our Families — Brittain’s work “explores the complexity of being human in desperate times,” said Mayer. The exhibition, organized by the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, includes 70 works.