DAPHNE ODJIG at Gallery Gevek (12 Hazelton) until June 16. Rating: NNnN
there's a sweetness about daphne
Odjig's imagery that belies her revolutionary role in Canadian art.
An Anishnawbe woman from Manitoulin Island, Odjig emerged as a painter in the 60s, when very few First Nations artists were being taken seriously as anything but anthropological novelties. Along with peers like Norval Morrisseau, she helped break through institutionalized racist barriers. Still, while her achievement in defining the Woodlands School remains remarkable, the fact that Odjig was the first native woman to establish a serious contemporary art practice in Canada is even more profound. And she was alone in her generation.
Gallery Gevik's current show of images dating from 1967 to 2000 marks the publication of Key Porter's The Art Of Daphne Odjig. This beautifully produced coffee-table book sets the artist firmly in her historical context, while the sheer number of young native artists honouring Odjig at her opening and book launch makes it clear that her legacy remains strong.