Canadian, b. 1919
gouache on paper
60.8 x 47.6 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Gift of Dr. and Mrs. L.H. Kahane
Daphne Odjig was born on Manitoulin Island, Ontario, to a Potawatomi father and an English mother. She began making art seriously after World War II, when she moved to Vancouver. Untitled was painted in Manitoba, where she moved in 1963. The painting’s recurring colour and fluid black “formlines” create a powerful, rhythmic image revealing Odjig’s awareness of both Western artistic styles and themes of identity, family, and spirituality central to her First Nations world view. Living in Winnipeg reintroduced Odjig to the challenges facing many First Nations communities, but it also stimulated a reaffirmation of and reconnection with her Aboriginal roots. In 1974 she opened the first Native-run art gallery in Canada, the Warehouse Gallery, where she exhibited works by many of her contemporaries.