The first solo exhibition in Europe of the celebrated Canadian Indigenous artist Adrian Stimson (b.1964) will take place at Gurr Johns gallery at 16 Pall Mall, London, from 16 to 27 May 2022.
'Manifest Buffalo: A Bison Dream' will present more than 30 new paintings by the Siksika (Blackfoot) Nation artist whose work addresses issues of colonisation and identity construction and brings First Nation issues to an international audience. The exhibition is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and the High Commission of Canada in London.
The exhibition expands the continuum of the artist’s past work and focusses on colonial expansion through depictions of bison, an animal central to the spirituality and survival of the Blackfoot people. It is inspired by the concept of ‘Manifest destiny’, a 19th century belief that the Americas, specifically the United States, were destined by God to be taken and given to the settlers in order that they could spread democracy and capitalism across the entire North American continent. ‘Canada’ also grew out of similar expansionist ideals. Each painting in the exhibition will depict bison on remembered landscapes in the artist’s signature grey-scale style with the inclusion of coloured bison and other colonial and environmental signifiers. Executed in oil, charcoal and graphite on canvas, the paintings highlight and reflect on the fate of the bison, the Blackfoot people, and all people of the Canadian plains. The historical slaughter of the bison has adversely affected the Blackfoot and continues to this day. The paintings are mostly grey scale with limited colour evoking melancholy, memory, colonisation, anger, and humour. They speak to indigenous notions of cultural fragility, resilience, and nostalgia.
Adrian Stimson (b. 1964) is a member of the Siksika (Blackfoot) Nation in southern Alberta, Canada. Across installation, painting, photography, video and performance, Stimson’s works re-signify colonial history using both humour and counter- memory.
Stimson has exhibited widely across Canada and internationally. He has a BFA with distinction from the Alberta University of the Arts and an MFA from the University of Saskatchewan. Stimson received the Governor General’s Award for Visual and Media Arts in 2018 and a REVEAL Indigenous Arts Award from the Hnatyshyn Foundation in 2017. He was also awarded the Blackfoot Visual Arts Award in 2009, the Alberta Centennial Medal in 2005 and the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in 2003.
Stimson has exhibited in three International Biennales: Photo Quai, Paris, France 2009, The Shoreline Dilemma, Toronto 2019, and Nirin, Sydney Australia 2020. His work is held in public and private collections including the Remai Modern, The British Museum, London, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Museum of Fine Arts Montreal, Art Gallery of Ontario, City of Saskatoon, City of Calgary, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Glenbow Museum, Mackenzie Art Gallery, Canadian Museum of Civilization, Detroit Institute of the Arts, Saskatchewan Arts Board, First Nations University of Canada and the Indian Art Centre, among others.
About Gurr Johns:
Gurr Johns is the leading independent firm specialising in art advisory and valuations. The company acts as a discreet and trusted advisor to private collectors, family offices, attorneys and art institutions, navigating the art market to ensure that clients achieve best value. Established in 1914, Gurr Johns today has a global network including offices in London, New York, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Palm Beach, Chicago and New Delhi, with specialist expertise across all categories of fine and decorative art, jewellery and collectibles.
The company’s newly renovated gallery space on Pall Mall, in the heart of St James’s, is closely located to some of Britain’s oldest art institutions, including the National Gallery and the Royal Academy of Arts.