By Maria Tippett

half biography, half paintings historical past -- a completely enticing examine one man’s lifestyles and his out of the ordinary effect at the international of up to date art.

Bill Reid used to be on the leading edge of the modern day renaissance of Northwest Coast local paintings; yet his artwork, and his existence, was once now not with no controversy. just like the raven -- the trickster and imperative determine in numerous Haida myths -- invoice Reid reinvented himself a number of instances over. Born to a partially Haida mom and a father of German and Scottish descent, his public personality as a Haida Indian turns out to were as a lot a fabricated from reporters, paintings consumers, museum curators and others within the non-Native institution as of invoice Reid himself. it's transparent that Reid’s paintings arose from the stress that existed among his local and white inventive perceptions.

Award-winning biographer and cultural historian Maria Tippett turned intrigued through this enigmatic determine who spoke of his personal early works as “artefakes,” but to at the present time keeps to motivate new generations of Northwest Coast artists, together with Robert Davidson and Jim Hart. yet she questions even if Reid’s prestige because the architect of up to date local artwork is reasonable and exact, on condition that artists similar to Mungo Martin have been preserving the culture alive because the starting of the 20th century. so much controversially, she explores how Reid introduced a sensibility shaped via his white background to the reinvention of local art.

By asking tough questions on Reid’s existence and paintings, and by way of studying the works of different local artists because the starting of the 20th century, Tippet supplies the reader the defining portrait of invoice Reid -- one in all Canada’s such a lot enigmatic and cherished artists.

Bill Reid’s paintings are available in deepest and public paintings galleries and museums world wide. The Museum of Anthropology on the collage of British Columbia homes the recognized The Raven and The First Men and lots of smaller masterworks. The Spirit of Haida Gwaii, a huge bronze sculpture over 4 metres excessive, is on exhibit on the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C. The British Museum, the Musée de l’Homme in Paris and the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Ottawa additionally carry outstanding examples of the paintings of this notable and imaginitive artist.

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