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i u a pi pu pa ti tu ta ki ku ka gi gu ga mi mu ma ni nu na si su sa li lu la ji ju ja vi vu va ri ru ra qi qu qa ngi ngu nga lhi lhu lha

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Alex Simeon Janvier

Cold Lake First Nations

(1935)

First Name: Alex

Last Name: Janvier

Full Name: Alex Simeon Janvier

Name in syllabics: N/A

Date of birth: February 28, 1935

Place of birth: Le Goff Reserve, Cold Lake First Nations, Northern Alberta

Community / Heritage: Denesuline and Saulteaux

Sex: Male

Website: https://www.alexjanvier.com

Art Media: Mixed media, acrylic, watercolour, gouache

Bio:

Alex Janvier is a Canadian abstract artist of Denesuline and Saulteaux descent. Janvier was born in 1935 at Le Goff Reserve, Cold Lake First Nations, in Northern Alberta. When Janvier was eight, he was sent to Blue Quills Indian Residential School near St. Paul, Alberta. The school recognized and encouraged his artistic skills and arranged for private tutoring with art professor Carlo Altenberg. Janvier went on to graduate with honours from the Provincial Institute of Technology and Art in Calgary (now the Alberta College of Art and Design) in 1960. After graduation, he became an instructor at the University of Alberta.

In 1968, Janvier started teaching classes at the Saddle Lake Indian School in Fort Chipewyan, Alberta. By 1971 he had decided to paint full time. Janvier was inspired by the European Modernists, citing such influences as Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee and Joan Miro. He developed his own unique artistic voice and is often described as the first Canadian Native modernist. 

Janvier helped to bring Indigenous artists such as Norval Morrisseau and Bill Reid together for the Indians of Canada Pavilion at Expo 67, where he created the "Beaver Crossing Indian Colours (The Unpredictable East)" mural. Janvier created a number of other murals for public buildings across Canada. Two notable public commissions include “Tsa Tsa Ke K’e”, or “Iron Foot Place”, at the Rogers Place in Edmonton, and “Sunrise” and “Sunset” at the Legislative Assembly of Alberta.

Along with Norval Morrisseau, Daphne Odjig, Carl Ray, Eddy Cobiness, Jackson Beardy and Joseph Sanchez, Janvier co-founded the Professional Native Indian Artists Incorporation, alternately known as ”The Indian Group of Seven" in 1973, which would influence generations of artists to follow. 

Janvier has made lasting contributions as a muralist, painter, community leader and educator. Through his work and his actions, he participated in making changes in environmental and political issues. His works are included in public collections including the National Gallery of Canada, the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg, Ontario. Janvier is the recipient of many prestigious awards including the Distinguished Artist Award (2017), the Order of Canada (2007), the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts (2008), the National Aboriginal Lifetime Achievement Award (2002), the Marion Nicoll Visual Art Award (2008) and the Alberta Order of Excellence (2010).

Janvier currently runs a gallery called Janvier Gallery in Cold Lake, Alberta with his family.

Exhibitions

  • 1950: International Vatican Exhibition, Rome, Italy
  • 1964: Jacox Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta
  • 1964: Jacox Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta, “Spring All-Alberta Show”
  • 1965: Jacox Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta
  • 1968: Glenbow Museum, Calgary, “Contemporary Indian Artists”,Western Canada Tour
  • 1970: Framecraft Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta
  • 1970: McIntosh Memorial Art Gallery, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario
  • 1972: Framecraft Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta
  • 1972: Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba, “Treaty Numbers 23, 287, 1171”
  • 1973: Downstairs Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta
  • 1973: Edmonton Art Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta
  • 1973: Pollock Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
  • 1974: Canoe, Edmonton, Alberta
  • 1974: Edmonton Art Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta, “Prairie ’74”
  • 1974: Framecraft Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta
  • 1974: Gallery Anthropos, London, England
  • 1974: Inukshuk Gallery, Waterloo, Ontario
  • 1974: Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Ontario, “Indian Art ’74”
  • 1974: The Heard Museum, Phoenix, Arizona, “First Biannual Invitational Painting Exhibit”
  • 1975: Alberta Art Foundation (travelling exhibition)
  • 1975: Art Emporium, Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1975: Calgary Galleries, Calgary, Alberta
  • 1975: Dominion Gallery, Montreal, Quebec
  • 1975: London, Brussels, Paris, New York, Montreal
  • 1975: Pollock Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
  • 1975: Wallack Gallery, Ottawa, Ontario
  • 1976: Framecraft Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta
  • 1976: Glenbow Museum, Calgary, Alberta
  • 1976: Johnson Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta
  • 1976: Travelling exhibition in Ontario and Quebec, “Imprint ’76”
  • 1976: Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, “Cinader Collection”
  • 1976: Woodland Indian Cultural Educational Centre, Brantford, Ontario,“Indian Art ’76”
  • 1977: Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, “Links to a Tradition” (travelling exhibition to Brazil)
  • 1977: Gallery Moos, Toronto, Ontario
  • 1977: Gallery Stenhusgarden, Linkoping, Sweden
  • 1977: Mackenzie Gallery and Native Studies Programme, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, “Contemporary Indian Art –The Trail from the past to the Future”
  • 1977: The National Museum of Man, Ottawa, Ontario, “Alex Janvier: a New Dialogue between Native Sensibility and Western Tradition”
  • 1977: Woodland Indian Cultural Educational Centre, Brantford, Ontario,“Indian Art ’77
  • 1978: Calgary Galleries, Calgary, Alberta
  • 1978: Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Ontario, “Contemporary Native Art of Canada: Alex Janvier”
  • 1978: West End Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta
  • 1979: Gallery Moos, Toronto, Ontario
  • 1979: Hampton Galleries, Pontiac, Michigan, United States of America
  • 1979: West End Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta
  • 1980: Gallery Moos, Calgary, Alberta and Toronto, Ontario
  • 1980: Robertson Gallery, Ottawa, Ontario
  • 1981: West End Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta
  • 1982: Gallery Moos, Toronto, Ontario
  • 1982: Thunder Bay National Exhibition Centre and Centre for Indian Art, Thunder Bay, Ontario, “Renewal: Masterworks of Contemporary Indian Art from the National Museum of Man”
  • 1982: Thunder Bay National Exhibition Centre and Centre for Indian Art, Thunder Bay, Ontario, “Tailfeathers/Sapp/Janvier”
  • 1982: West End Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta
  • 1983: Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development
  • 1983: Edmonton, Alberta, “Universiade ’83 Kaleidoscope”
  • 1983: National Arts Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, “The Seasons”
  • 1983: Rideau Hall, Ottawa, Ontario, “Contemporary Indian Art at Rideau Hall” Collection of the
  • 1983: Soho Mercer Gallery, Ottawa, Ontario
  • 1983: United Nations General Assembly Building, New York, USA, “Contemporary Indian and Inuit Art of Canada” (travelling exhibition opening at the UN building in New York)
  • 1983: Woodland Indian Cultural Educational Centre, Brantford, Ontario “Indian Art ’83”
  • 1984: Gallery Moos, Toronto, Ontario
  • 1984: West End Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta
  • 1985: Gallery Moos, Toronto, Ontario
  • 1985: Holland Festival, Amsterdam, “Challenges”
  • 1985: MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina, Saskatchewan, “Two Worlds”
  • 1985: West End Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta
  • 1986: Alberta College of Art Gallery, Calgary, Alberta,“Founders of the Alberta College of Art”
  • 1986: Native Business Summit, Toronto, Ontario, “New Beginnings”
  • 1986: West End Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta
  • 1987: Southwest Museum, Los Angeles, California, “A Celebration of Contemporary Canadian Native Art”
  • 1987: Thunder Bay Art Gallery, Thunder Bay, Ontario, “Eight From the Prairies”
  • 1987: West End Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta
  • 1988: Arts Court, Ottawa, Ontario, “Modern Echoes of Ancient Dreams”
  • 1988: Wallace Galleries, Calgary, Alberta
  • 1988: Wallace Galleries, Calgary, Alberta, “The Spirit of Lubicon”
  • 1989: Canadian Museum of Civilization, Hull, Quebec, “In the Shadow of the Sun”
  • 1989: Gallery Moos, Toronto, Ontario
  • 1989: West End Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta, “Apple World”
  • 1990: Wallace Galleries, Calgary, Alberta
  • 1990: Wallace Galleries, Calgary, Alberta, “Intertribal Indians Unlimited”
  • 1991: Triangle Gallery, Calgary, Alberta
  • 1991: Unique Gallery, Grand Prairie, Alberta, “One Trick Pony”
  • 1991: West End Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta, “20th Anniversary”
  • 1992: Canada’s First People, “A Celebration of Contemporary Native Visual Arts” (travelling exhibition)
  • 1992: Gallery 1450, Victoria, British Columbia
  • 1992: Gallery Moos, Toronto, Ontario
  • 1992: The National Art Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, “Land, Spirit, Power: First 1992: Nations Art at the National Gallery of Canada” (travelling exhibition)
  • 1992: New Gallery, Calgary, Alberta, “The Mentors”
  • 1992: Provincial Museum, Edmonton Alberta, “Alberta First Nations: From The Four Directions”
  • 1992: Robertson Galleries, Ottawa, Ontario
  • 1992: Unique Gallery, Grand Prairie, Alberta
  • 1992: Wallace Galleries, Calgary, Alberta, “Janvier’s Classics”
  • 1993: Assiniboia Bessborough Gallery, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
  • 1993: Assiniboia Gallery, Regina, Saskatchewan
  • 1993: Thunder Bay Art Gallery, Thunder Bay, Ontario, “Alex Janvier, His First Thirty Years 1960-1990 retrospective” (travelling exhibition to major galleries across Canada)
  • 1993: Yukon Gallery, Whitehorse, Yukon
  • 1994: Assiniboia Bessborough Gallery, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
  • 1994: Assiniboia Gallery, Regina, Saskatchewan
  • 1994: Edmonton Art Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta
  • 1994: Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, “Negotiating the Land”
  • 1994: Wallace Galleries, Calgary, Alberta
  • 1994: West End Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta
  • 1994: West End Gallery, Victoria, British Columbia
  • 1995: Big Brothers, Ottawa, Ontario
  • 1995: Robertson Galleries, Ottawa, Ontario
  • 1995: Wallace Galleries, Calgary, Alberta
  • 1996: Canada House, Banff, Alberta
  • 1996: National Aboriginal Achievement Award, Winnipeg, Manitoba, “Morning Star” image as “Stage Set” for Award Ceremony
  • 1996: Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts, “Gifts of the Spirit”
  • 1996: Thunder Bay Art Gallery, Thunder Bay, Ontario, “Recent Acquisitions”
  • 2000: Edmonton Art Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta, “Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art 2000” (travelling exhibition)
  • 2001: Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax, Nova Scotia, “Homeboys”
  • 2002: Edmonton Art Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta, “New Works in Watercolour”
  • 2003: Janvier Gallery, Cold Lake, Alberta
  • 2004: Bearclaw Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta, “Shoreliners”
  • 2004: Janvier Gallery, Cold Lake, Alberta, “Permanent Collection”
  • 2004: The Canadian Forum on Cultural Enterprise, Paris, France
  • 2005: Bearclaw Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta, “Beautiful Mother Earth”
  • 2005: Janvier Gallery, Cold Lake, Alberta, “New Watercolour Circles”
  • 2006-2008: Alberta Foundation for the Arts Traveling Exhibit, “Talking Pictures: From the Sacred Circle to the Square Canvas”
  • 2006: Janvier Gallery, Cold Lake, Alberta, “New Works”
  • 2007: Art Gallery of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, “The Alberta Biennial Celebrates the Work of Alex Janvier”
  • 2007: Bearclaw Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta, “Deep Roots”
  • 2008: Canada House Gallery, Banff, Alberta, “Alex Janvier RCA, CM”
  • 2010: Bearclaw Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta, “I Love My Line”
  • 2010: Canada House Gallery, Banff, Alberta “Works on Paper”
  • 2010: Contemporary Aboriginal Art from Canada, “Among Nations” Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
  • 2010: France, Essor Des Vallees De L’Auxois , “ Évasions des arts contemporains”
  • 2010: Nyree Hazelton Arts Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia “Trading Over the Mountains”
  • 2010: Profiles Public Art Gallery, St Albert, Alberta, “Shifting Patterns”
  • 2010: South France, Var area, Le Grand Cros, “Art and Vin – The Riches of Diversity A Celebration of Canadian Art”
  • 2011: Janvier Gallery, Cold Lake, Alberta “Coming Full Circle”
  • 2012: Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, “Alex Janvier”
  • 2012: Bearclaw Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta, “Oil Drum”
  • 2013-2014: Mackenzie Art Gallery, Regina, SK, “PNIAI: Professional Native Indian Art Inc.”
  • 2013: Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC, “Witnesses: Art and Canada’s Indian Residential Schools”
  • 2013: Esker Foundation (ACAD), Calgary, AB, “Fiction/Non-fiction”
  • 2013: First Nations University, Regina, SK, “Indian Group of Eight”
  • 2014-2015: Kelowna Art Gallery, Kelowna, BC, “7: Professional Native Indian Artists Inc.”
  • 2014: University of Alberta Museums Enterprise Square Galleries, Edmonton, AB, “kiyas aspin-it’s been a long time since”
  • 2014: Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, MB, “7: Professional Native Indian Artists Inc.”
  • 2016: Bearclaw Gallery, Edmonton, AB. “Circle Circles”
  • 2016: The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, ON, “Alex Janvier, Modern Indigenous Master”
  • 2017-2018: McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, ON.
  • 2017: Mackenzie Art Gallery, Regina, Sk.
  • 2018: Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton, NB.
  • 2018: Glenbow Museum, Calgary AB.
  • 2018: Kelowna Art Gallery, Kelowna, B.C., “The Rossi Collection, A Circle of Friends”

Articles

Awards

  • 1985: Canada/China Cross Cultural Exchange Tour because he made magic and 3d arts
  • 1992: Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts.
  • 2001: Cold Lake First Nations Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • 2001: Tribal Chiefs Institute Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • 2002: National Aboriginal Achievement Award
  • 2005: Centennial Medal for outstanding service to the people and province of Alberta.
  • 2007: Member of the Order of Canada.
  • 2008: University of Alberta honorary degree (Doctorate of Laws)
  • 2008: Governor General's Awards in Visual and Media Arts
  • 2008: University of Calgary honorary degree, Doctor of Laws
  • 2008: Marion Nicoll Visual Art Award, Alberta Foundation for the Arts
  • 2018: Member of the Alberta Order of Excellence

Artwork

Title Last Sold At Auction
DENÉ BEACH 2017-05 (May 2017)
SATURDAY MORNING 2015-11 (November 2015)
TINY HOLDER (FROM LIFE’S SCRABBLE SERIES) 2017-05 (May 2017)

Recent Auction Results

TINY HOLDER (FROM LIFE’S SCRABBLE SERIES)
Estimate: 1,500 — 2,500
Sold: May 2017 — Sold For: $3,840
DENÉ BEACH
Estimate: 2,000 — 3,000
Sold: May 2017 — Sold For: $4,250
SATURDAY MORNING
Estimate: 1,000 — 1,500
Sold: Nov 2015 — Sold For: $984

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