Donald Ellis Gallery is pleased to announce its participation in the digital edition of Art Toronto 2020, taking place online and in art galleries across Canada. ArtTO 2020 will be open to the public from October 31 to November 8, with three VIP preview days beginning October 28.
The gallery will present two concurrent exhibitions, showcasing historical Indigenous art from the Northwest Coast and Plains Indian Ledger Drawings from the late nineteenth century.
Highlights will include an exceptionally rare selection of argillite carving and jewellery by the Haida artist Charles Edenshaw (Tahayghen, 1839–1920). Edenshaw is widely considered the most renowned and accomplished artist of the Northwest Coast, and his artistic achievements place him as a major figure in Canadian art history. Born in 1839, Edenshaw created work for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous patrons, masterfully adapting Haida design traditions with a sense of modernity that was deeply innovative. Edenshaw’s work is highly sought after today, and is represented in the permanent collections of major institutions including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver; and The National Museum of the American Indian, Washington D.C. The gallery will also feature a selection of bentwood boxes and bowls, model totem poles, and a small but important group of argillite works.
In the second part of the exhibition, the gallery will present a selection of Ledger drawings from Indigenous cultures of the Great Plains. Rarely exhibited in Canada, ledger drawings were an artistic privilege of Plains warriors, a continuation of earlier biographic and pictographic traditions on rock and hide. Ledger drawings offer immediate and eloquent first- person narratives about a specific moment in North American history, spanning the intercultural wars of the mid nineteenth-century into the early years of the Reservation Period. The drawings are both records of actual events and articulate the cumulative acquisition of spiritual power and status. Donald Ellis Gallery has been instrumental in bringing these unique artistic records of North American history to public and institutional attention for the first time since the groundbreaking exhibition Plains Indian Ledger Drawings at the Drawing Center, New York, in 1996.
Donald Ellis Gallery will donate 10% of all sales to Canadian organizations addressing the legacy of the Residential School System, supporting Indigenous education and mental health, and promoting Reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians. Clients will have their choice in supporting one of the following charitable organizations:
The Legacy of Hope Foundation
The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund