Since the 1960s,
Guud san glans Robert Davidson has been instrumental in the revival of Haida art and culture and has long been appreciated as one of the most rigorous and inventive artists working in that tradition. Guud san glans Robert Davidson: A Line That Bends But Does Not Break draws on the Vancouver Art Gallery’s extensive collection of Davidson’s graphic work, supplemented by paintings from local private collections, to show how Davidson’s profound knowledge of Haida art has allowed him to innovate so convincingly.
Traditional Haida art is well known for stylistic conventions that provide a complex and distinctive visual structure to everything it represents. Davidson is so at home within that tradition that he can move effortlessly from more familiar compositions to works in which he singles out and boldly abstracts traditional elements of shape, colour and line. This allows us to consider these elements with exquisite care and see them in new ways. Each work can be considered a masterclass in the Haida language of forms and powerful evidence of the richness, resilience and vitality of Haida culture.
Organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery and curated by Richard Hill, Smith Jarislowsky Senior Curator of Canadian Art and Mandy Ginson, Associate Curator