Poitras is noted for using organic materials as a vehicle for spiritual concepts in combination with the ideas and formal vocabulary of European art. His highly conceptual sculpture/installations are characterized by the combination of such varied and disparate elements as stone, weathered prairie bone, traditional beadwork and historical photos with transistor boards, electrical wires, audio tapes and plastics. The juxtaposition of seemingly incongruous elements from the past and present results in visually stimulating and intellectually challenging statements that combine inspired self-expression with a biting sociopolitical comment assessing the interrelationship of native and European culture.
Poitras's position as senior Canadian artist was underscored when he was selected to represent Canada at the 1995 Venice Biennale. Other exhibitions include Horses Fly Too, organized by the Mackenzie Art Gallery, Regina, in 1984; Indian Territory, organized by the Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, in 1988; Canadian Biennial of Contemporary Art, organized by the NATIONAL GALLERY OF CANADA in 1989; Indingena, organized by the CANADIAN MUSEUM OF CIVILIZATION in 1992 and Borderzones organized by the UBC Museum of Anthropology. In 2002 he was the recipient of a Governor General's Visual and Media Arts Award.
Author NORMAN ZEPP
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A brief profile of the celebrated Canadian artist Edward Poitras from the Canada Council for the Arts.