For Immediate Release
Contact: Wendy Malloy,
SAM Public Relations
SEATTLE ART MUSEUM PRESENTS THE FIRST MAJOR U.S. EXHIBITION OF WORK BY HAIDA ARTIST, ROBERT DAVIDSON
Robert Davidson: Abstract Impulse November 16, 2013-February 16, 2014
Offered for the first time in the United States, this exhibition features Davidsonís recent works, as well as key pieces from early in his career. Following its visit to Seattle, Abstract Impulsewill travel to the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, New York, from April 12, 2014 to September 28, 2014.
In 1969, Davidson erected the first totem pole in nearly a century in his ancestral Massett village in British Columbia. Since then, he has worked for over 40 years to absorb the bedrock art traditions of Haida art and craft. He began by learning the ancient forms of his great-grandfather, the influential Haida artist Charles Edenshaw. Gradually, he explored new directions within the highly disciplined structure of the old Northwest Coast models - in wood sculpture, ceremonial arts, jewelry, and prints. Abstract Impulsegathers Davidsonís recent forays into abstraction, explored in boldly minimalist easel paintings, graphic work, and sculpture. Images are pared to essential lines, elemental shapes and intense colors in the creation of a personal iconography.This evolving use of non-traditional media, colors and forms pushes the boundaries of the Haida art form forward and makes Davidson one of the most important Northwest Coast Native artists working today. "The Seattle Art Museum has remarkable holdings of historic Haida art, including key pieces by Robertís ancestors, and so we are especially pleased to present Davidsonís contemporary work and connect it to the culture that he has worked so hard to revitalize," said Kimerly Rorschach, SAMís Illsley Ball Nordstrom Director. "The works of the past 10 years that are shown here, along with some pivotal earlier pieces, demonstrate that art can embrace the ethos of tradition and at the same time be envisioned for the present." The exhibition will feature 45 paintings, sculptures and prints created since 2005, as well as works from earlier years that capture the trajectory of Davidsonís impulse towards abstraction and an elemental language of form. This exhibition is the first major show of his work in the United States; Davidson has participated in numerous public and private commissions including a retrospective exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery (1993). Robert Davidson: Abstract Impulse is curated by Barbara Brotherton, Curator of Native American Art at the Seattle Art Museum. The exhibition has been organized by the Seattle Art Museum in collaboration with the Smithsonian, National Museum of the American Indian, New York. Lead grant from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. Major support provided by The MacRae Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support provided by The Hugh and Jane Ferguson Foundation, Port Madison Enterprises, the Eugene V. and Clare Thaw Charitable Trust and Contributors to SAM's Annual Fund. ABOUT SAM
SAM provides a welcoming place for people to connect with art and to consider its relationship to their lives. SAM is one museum in three locations: the Seattle Art Museum in downtown Seattle, the Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park, and the Olympic Sculpture Park on the Seattle waterfront. SAM collects, preserves and exhibits objects from across time and across cultures, exploring the dynamic connections between past and present.
The exhibition has been organized by the Seattle Art Museum in collaboration with the Smithsonian, National Museum of the American Indian, New York.