HAIDA DOGFISH, NUMBERED IN PENCIL 84/290
This is a handpulled, handscreened original serigraph that was created specifically for the July Pepsi-Co conference in Whistler, BC. This original silkscreen was specifically commissioned in an edition of 300 (numberbed out of 290 plus 10 artist's proofs). It was printed on acid free Arches 88 paper.
William Ronald Reid (AKA: Bill Reid) was an important Canadian sculptor, carver, print maker, graphic artist, jewellery maker, illustrator, author and broadcaster. He elevated the stature of Haida (Indian) art from the category of an ethnological curiosity to a highly respected fine art form.
He was born in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada and died in Vancouver, British Columbia where he had lived much of his life.
His sculpture, carving and jewellery mediums were gold, silver, wood, ivory, argillite, abalone, and bronze. His prints are lithographs and silkscreen (serigraphs). His subjects were Haida images, figures, legend, mythology, spirituality, symbolism, allegory and iconography. His style was a complex blend of Haida (1) formalism and western naturalism.
Some of his major works and artistic accomplishments are the "Haida Village" at the University of British Columbia, which includes two houses and seven totem poles (1958-62); the 55 foot tall Skidegate heraldic pole (1976‰ÛÒ78), the first totem to be raised in his mother's village in a century; the 4.5 ton cedar sculptureRaven and the First Humans in UBC's Museum of Anthropology (1980); a bronze killer whale sculpture, The Chief of the Undersea World, for the Vancouver Aquarium (1984); the large bronze frieze Mythic Messengers, at Teleglobe Canada, Burnaby (1984); the canoe Lootaas (Wave Eater) commissioned for Expo 86 (Vancouver); Phyllidula, The Shape of Frogs to Come, a carved red cedar polychrome frog (1986), at the Vancouver Art Gallery; the monumental (14 feet tall) Spirit of Haida Gwaii (The Black Canoe) bronze, commissioned for the Canadian embassy in Washington, DC (1991); and its green counterpart, The Jade Canoe (1996), at the Vancouver International Airport. There are other, much smaller, but highly acclaimed works, such as his gold and diamond necklace (1969), the gold Beaver, Human, and Killer Whale Box (1971), the gold Bear Mother Dish (1972), and the boxwood carving, The Raven Discovering Mankind in a Clamshell(1970). (5)
In addition to the pieces in public spaces his work is also in many private, corporate and public collections. The public collections include the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa), the Canadian Museum of Civilization (Hull, Quebec), the British Museum (London, England), the U.B.C. Museum of Anthropology (Vancouver), the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (B.C.) and the McMichael Canadian Collection (Kleinburg, Ontario). Many important silver works may even be in dresser drawers or modest jewellery boxes all over the world, having originally been bought as souvenirs of a trip to Canada decades ago. The owner perhaps totally unaware that the mark on the back reading "Haida Art Reid" is the signature identifying it as a rare art treasure created by a master carver.
Among his many awards are honorary degrees from the University of British Columbia, the University of Toronto, the University of Victoria, the University of Western Ontario, York University and Trent University. He has also received the National Aboriginal Achievement Award in 1994, and was made a member of the Order of British Columbia (1994) and an Officer of France's Order of Arts and Letters. In 1996 he was honoured with a postage stamp featuring the "Spirit of Haida Gwaii". And, while in a possible oversight he was never awarded the Order of Canada, a compensating honour could be that multiple images of his art, his name and his birth and death years have been engraved on the obverse side of the Canadian twenty dollar bill since 2004.
The television specials about him include "Looking at Art", CBC July 27/54; "Carvers of the Totem Pole", CBC Nov.1/57; "The Farewell Screen", CBC July 19/68; "Globe Trotting: Reid in Paris", CBC Oct 10/89; "Haida Gwaii in Washington", CBC Nov.18/91; "The Private Bill Reid", CBC Mar.1/94; "The Grand Old Man of Haida Art", CBC Jan.14/96; "The Jade Canoe", CBC Oct.25/97; "Bill Reid Remembered", CBC Mar.13/98; "Portrait of the Artist", CBC Oct.12/99;"The Spirit of Haida Gwaii" (Concert), CBC Nov.14/02; and "Raven in the Sun: The Life and Times of Bill Reid", CBC Dec.2/03.
Source: UBC Museum of Anthropology http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/Exhibitions/Billreidpole/english/background/index.html.