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Past Exhibitions


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Robert Davidson: Abstract Impulse

Nov 16 2013 – Feb 16 2014

Seattle Art Museum

Third Floor Galleries

In partnership with the National Museum of the American Indian, NY, SAM is proud to organize the first major U.S. exhibition of the Haida artist, Robert Davidson.

Robert Davidson has been a pivotal figure in the Northwest Coast Native art renaissance since 1969, when he erected the first totem pole in his ancestral Massett village since the 1880s. For over 40 years he has mastered Haida art traditions by studying the great works of his great-grandfather Charles Edenshaw and others. More recently, Davidson has interjected his own interpretation of the old forms with forays into abstraction, explored in boldly minimalistic easel paintings, graphic works and sculpture, where images are pared to essential lines, elemental shapes and strong colors.

The exhibition will feature 45 paintings, sculptures and prints created since 2005, as well as key images from earlier in his career that show Davidson’s evolution toward an elemental language of form.

The exhibition is organized by SAM curator Barbara Brotherton and will be on view November 16, 2013 to February 16, 2014. It will travel to the National Museum of the American Indian’s George Gustav Heye Center in New York City for a 2014 viewing. A catalogue will accompany the exhibition.

–Barbara Brotherton, Curator of Native American Art

Educational Resources
To explore this exhibition a little deeper download our bibliography.

The exhibition has been organized by the Seattle Art Museum in collaboration with the Smithsonian, National Museum of the American Indian, New York.

Green Tri Neg, 2009, Robert Davidson (Haida, born 1946), acrylic on canvas, 40 x 30 in., Private Collection, courtesy Kinsman Robinson Galleries. Photo: Kenji Nagai.