CURATORS: Karen Duffek (MOA Curator, Contemporary Visual Arts & Pacific Northwest) and Tania Willard (artist and independent curator, Secwepemc Nation)
Vancouver artist Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, of Coast Salish and Okanagan descent, is showcased in this provocative exhibition of works that confront the colonialist suppression of First Nations peoples and the ongoing struggle for Indigenous rights to lands, resources, and sovereignty. Twenty years since his last major Canadian solo show, Unceded Territories will demonstrate the progression of Yuxweluptun’s artistry and ideas through hard-hitting, polemical, but also playful artworks that span his remarkable 30- year career, featuring a selection of brand-new works exhibited publicly for the first time. Co-curated by Karen Duffek (MOA Curator, Contemporary Visual Arts & Pacific Northwest) and Tania Willard (artist and independent curator, Secwepemc Nation), Unceded Territories promises colour and controversy through this display of over 60 of Yuxweluptun’s most significant paintings, drawings, and works in other media – a critical and impassioned melding of modernism, history, and Indigenous perspectives that records what the artist feels are the major issues facing Indigenous people today. This exhibition will undoubtedly fuel dialogue, indignation, and even spiritual awareness as it tackles land rights, environmental destruction, and changing ideas about what we can expect of Indigenous art from the Northwest Coast. The issues Yuxweluptun addresses are impossible to ignore.