With its strong formal presence, Boyer's art reflected his awareness of contemporary trends in Western art such as abstract expressionism and colour field painting. This knowledge was combined with an insight into Aboriginal history and culture. Using geometric forms found in traditional Plains First Nations beadwork and hide painting (see NATIVE ART), this consummate colourist created largely symmetrical works consisting of interlocking arrows, triangles and rectangles. To these otherwise nonimagistic works, Boyer applied enigmatic, often ironic titles which give his highly intuitive personal statements about Aboriginal experience an ideological, historical and political charge.
Bob Boyer originally began working in acrylic on paper and canvas. In 1984, following a trip to China, he established himself as an innovator when he produced a series of oil on blanket works featured in Horses Fly Too, a 1984 exhibition organized by the Mackenzie Art Gallery. Solo exhibitions include Bob Boyer: A Blanket Statement organized by the UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA Museum of Anthropology in 1988 and Shades of Difference: The Art of Bob Boyer, organized by the Edmonton Art Gallery in 1991. Boyer participated in 2 major exhibitions organized by the CANADIAN MUSEUM OF CIVILIZATION: In the Shadow of the Sun in 1988 and Indigena in 1992 and his work was also included in Native Canadian Voices, organized by the NATIONAL GALLERY OF CANADA, 1995.
Author NORMAN ZEPP
Links to Other Sites
An online feature about the life and work of nationally acclaimed Aboriginal artist and educator Robert James (Bob) Boyer. See also images of his works. From the website of the Virtual Museum of Canada.
Shawnadithit grew anxious waiting for her uncle, Longnon, to return to camp at the junction of Badger Brook and the Exploits River, deep in the wilds of Newfoundland...