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The Vancouver Art Gallery Presents GUUD SAN GLANS ROBERT DAVIDSON: A LINE THAT BENDS BUT DOES NOT BREAK

A monumental exhibition of Guud San Glans Robert Davidson's graphic work spanning his career to date.

The Vancouver Art Gallery Presents GUUD SAN GLANS ROBERT DAVIDSON: A LINE THAT BENDS BUT DOES NOT BREAK

The Vancouver Art Gallery presents Guud san glans Robert Davidson: A Line That Bends But Does Not Break from November 26, 2022 to April 16, 2023, an exhibition of Robert Davidson's renowned prints and paintings spanning his decades-long career.

The exhibition draws on the Vancouver Art Gallery's extensive collection of Davidson's work, supplemented by paintings from private collections, showcasing his profound knowledge of Haida art and his ability to revive, preserve and innovate brilliantly within the Haida tradition.

Since the 1960s, Guud san glans Robert Davidson has been instrumental in the renaissance of Haida art and culture and has long been appreciated as one of the most inventive artists working within Haida artistic traditions.

Guud san glans Robert Davidson: A Line That Bends But Does Not Break welcomes viewers into the exhibition through an in-depth introduction to the visual conventions of Haida art. Audiences are greeted with a rich selection of prints and drawings, going back to Davidson's earliest graphic works, gradually revealing the artist's willingness to extend these conventions in thoughtful ways. From there, the visitor encounters a room filled with prints and paintings created exclusively in black and red, drawing attention to the dominant role of these two colours in Haida graphics. The exhibition continues to unfold into galleries that demonstrate the full range of Davidson's experimentation with form in two-dimensional works, harnessing the Haida visual language with the literacy, deftness and sensitivity of a poet.

Throughout the exhibition, the visitor is guided by Davidson's own voice and image through a series of video and audio stations. This personal accompaniment presents guests with the opportunity to form a deeper connection with Davidson's work as well as Haida visual culture and language while offering enhanced modes of accessibility.

The exhibition title includes Davidson's Haida name, Guud san glans, meaning Eagle of the Dawn.  "A Line That Bends But Does Not Break" suggests that Davidson is so at home within the stylistic conventions of traditional Haida art that he is able to innovate, or "bend," Haida visual conventions without breaking with them. The title also implies that, although these traditions were placed under considerable stress during historical state efforts to eradicate Haida and other Indigenous cultures, these traditions have proven resilient and have been revived through the work of artists like Davidson. Each work can be considered a masterclass in the Haida language of forms and acts as powerful evidence of the richness, resilience and vitality of Haida culture.

Robert Davidson has a long history with the Vancouver Art Gallery, from inclusion in our first major survey of Northwest Coast art in 1967, Arts of the Raven, to a major mid-career survey, Eagle of the Dawn, in 1993. The Vancouver Art Gallery is proud to be co-publisher of a new book on Davidson's graphics to be released this fall, Echoes of the Supernatural: The Graphic Art of Robert Davidson. This project helped to provide the inspiration to revisit our extensive collection of Davidson's graphic works

For further information, please visit vanartgallery.bc.ca



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