Teachers Lesson Plans

Aboriginal Voices in Canadian Contemporary Art

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Look at the two works by Carl Beam: The North American Iceberg and Columbus Chronicles.
What artistic technique does Beam use in both of these paintings to unify the composition?

By the late 1970s, Carl Beam had developed a distinctive style which can be seen in both these works. Using his knowledge of printmaking techniques, Beam blends screen prints and photographic transfers with a wide range of materials, including stencilled, printed, and handwritten texts. The results resemble collages in which historical images mingle with snapshots of the present and the technological world is juxtaposed with the natural. To unify the fragmented picture plane, Beam applies painterly brush strokes and washes of colour over the composition. The effect is of a profusion of images emerging from a cloudy haze.