Birth of Antiquity
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‘Birth of Antiquity‘ by Daphne Odjig, 1989 – First Nations Woodland Art presented by DaVic Gallery of Native Canadian Arts
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Condition: No condition to report.
Provenance: This painting comes with a strong provenance from Gallery Gevik and Leona Lattimer.
Leona Lattimer was one of the leading gallerists in Vancouver, instrumental in building the Northwest Coast Indigenous art market. In 1976, she was named the manager of the Museum of Vancouver giftshop and quickly turned it into the highest-grossing giftshop in Canada. She outgrew her position at the museum by the early 1980s and opened the Leona Lattimer Gallery in 1986, just in time for Expo 86. Her gallery quickly became the prime destination in the Pacific Northwest for authentic, collectible Indigenous art.
Leona passed away on June 25th, 2022, in Vancouver, BC. Leona and her husband, David Lattimer, lived all over BC, including many small communities, where they made long-lasting friendships. Through her relationships with Indigenous artists throughout BC, she was able to help create the thriving Northwest Coast Indigenous art market we know today. The hundreds of artists and thousands of customers Leona met and worked with were her true passion and the source of many lifelong friendships she had.
Over the decades, Leona collected pieces herself, directly from the artists. These were exceptional artworks that both met her discriminating standards and spoke to her refined aesthetic taste. To own an artwork from the Leona Lattimer Collection is to own a piece of Vancouver history.
Description by Artist: No description by the artist found.
Notes from DaVic Gallery: Since we don’t have Odjig’s own explanation of the meaning of the painting, we are left to surmise what she may have wanted to convey. Perhaps understanding the socio-cultural and political landscape of the times might provide us with a glimpse of an insight. The events surrounding the creation of this painting include the struggle of the Lubicon Cree in Alberta to protect their land against oil interests. During the 1988 Calgary Olympics, joined by their supporters, the Lubicon boycotted the Glenbow Museum exhibition of First Nations’ artifacts, The Spirit Sings, sponsored by Shell Oil.
In the late 1980s, controversy surrounding Native art is high. The society still struggles with the question of whether the study of Indigenous art belongs to the field of art history or anthropology. The emerging European art theory, deconstructing and revising previous historical assumptions about the role and place of the Native arts in human history, greatly influences the Canadian art landscape. As a result, the First Nations’ art is increasingly accepted by the Canadian art galleries, heralding the era of its greater social acceptance and dissemination. In this transition period, in 1989, the Vancouver Art Gallery produced a “modernist” exhibition, Beyond History, presenting the art of several Indigenous artists. The phenomenon of the contemporary Native art scene could no longer be denied.
Fittingly, in 1989, Daphne Odjig is elected as a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Art.