Art Gallery of Alberta

50 years of work by Alex Janvier; one of Canada’s most influential artists

50 years of work by Alex Janvier; one of Canada’s most influential artists

For Immediate Release
May 7, 2012

EDMONTON, AB – The Art Gallery of Alberta (AGA) is pleased to open its Block II exhibition schedule with ALEX JANVIER, opening May 18 – August 19, 2012Featuring over 90 works, including many never before seen paintings and drawings, from private and public collections across Canada, this highly anticipated exhibition offers a retrospective of work from the artist, dating from the early 1960s to a selection of Janvier’s most recent work produced in 2012.

Early works trace the development of Janvier’s signature, curvilinear style incorporating traditional decorative motifs: medicine wheels, floral patterns and symbolic color arrangements in complex, abstract compositions.  Later works produced in the 1980s and early 1990s incorporate pictorial and figurative elements that speak to the ongoing struggle for aboriginal nationhood.  The exhibition concludes with the latest in a series of canvases from 2011 and 2012 created in homage to the members of the Aboriginal Group of Seven.

Formally trained, Janvier graduated with honours from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and Art (now the Alberta College of Art and Design) in 1960 and has influenced generations of younger artists.  In 2008, he received the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts, recognizing his contribution to the arts in Canada.  In 2009, Janvier was named one of Alberta’s Most Influential People by Alberta Venture Magazine and in 2011, received life-time achievements award from the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, the Tribal Chiefs Institute and Cold Lake First Nations.

While Janvier recognizes the artists Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee as significant influences, his style is unique. He proudly credits the beadwork and birch bark basketry of his mother and other relatives as significant influences on his art.   His work is an eloquent blend of both abstract and representational images; creating dreamscapes and pathways that guide visitors through a visual journey of positive/negative space, compositional balance and contrasting colours.  Here the language of line and colour meet the cultural and historical references of Alberta’s Aboriginal communities.

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For more information or to coordinate interviews with the Exhibition Curator or Artist, please contact:

Shaun Peters, Senior Manager, Marketing & Communications
T: 780.392.2466  E:

Kimberly Van Nieuvenhuyse, Communications Specialist
T: 780.392.2468  E:


Thursday, May 17, 1 pm, Art Gallery of Alberta



Exhibition Curator: Catherine Crowston, Art Gallery of Alberta

Artist: Alex Janvier

Exclusive Media Preview with access to ALEX JANVIER exhibition

Interviews with Alex Janvier and Catherine Crowston are available following opening remarks. 

Please RSVP by contacting:  

Shaun Peters, Senior Manager, Marketing & Communications, T: 780.392.2466

Kimberly Van Nieuvenhuyse, Communications Specialist
T: 780.392.2468  E:


Curators’ Tour
ALEX JANVIER with Catherine Crowston

Thursday, May 24, 7 pm
Art Gallery of Alberta

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