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Alex Janvier 
Lubicon, 1980
AGA Collection


This exhibition surveys the 50 year artistic career of Alberta artist Alex Janvier.

Featuring over 90 works, the exhibition includes works on paper and canvases that date from the early 1960s to a selection of Janvier’s most recent work, produced in 2012.

Born of Dene Suline and Saulteaux descent in 1935, Alex Janvier was sent to the BlueQuillsIndianResidentialSchool near St. Paul, Alberta at the age of 8. Janvier then attended the Alberta Institute of Technology and Art in Calgary (now the Alberta College of Art and Design), graduating with honours in 1960. Is a member of the Professional Native Indian Artists Incorporation (PNIAI), better known as the Aboriginal Group of Seven, Janvier is one of the significant pioneers of contemporary Aboriginal art in Canada, and has influenced generations of younger artists. In recognition of his contribution to the arts in Canada, Janvier received a Governor General’s Award in 2008 and life-time achievement awards from the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, The Tribal Chiefs Institute and Cold Lake First Nations in 2011.

The exhibition opens with a number of drawings and paintings that date from the 1960s, which have never been exhibited before. These works trace the development of Janvier’s signature, curvilinear style, which can be seen in his work starting in the early 1970s. The imagery of this work combines traditional native decorative motifs: medicine wheels, floral patterns and symbolic colour arrangements in complex, abstract compositions. These works are both graphic and evocative, swirling lines of bright colour moving across the surface of the canvas.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, however, Janvier’s work became more representational, incorporating figurative elements and pictorial narratives that speak to the oppressive history of colonization, the residential schools and the ongoing struggle for aboriginal nationhood. These works also reflect Janvier’s involvement with the PrimroseLake land claim has brought renewed awareness of the potential for the human devastation of nature and a new view of a familiar landscape. Janvier has spent several hours on aerial surveys of Northern Alberta and the work from this period reflects this change in perspective and the radiating force of explosion

This exhibition concludes with paintings and drawings that have been produced in the last few years, the latest being a series of canvases created in 2011 and 2012 in homage to the members of the Aboriginal Group of Seven.

The works are drawn from public collections across Canada, Alberta and from the artist’s studio and personal collection.


Monday: closed
Tuesday: closed
Wednesday: closed
Thursday: 11am-7pm
Friday: 11am-5pm
Saturday: 11am-5pm
Sunday: closed


'Pay what you May' admission for all essential service workers and our friends in the arts and culture sector.

AGA members
Youth 0-17
Alberta students 18+
Out-of-province students
General admission
Seniors 65+


2 Sir Winston Churchill Square
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada T5J 2C1