Dome No. 4, 1993
watercolour on wove paper
76 x 57.2 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 37142)
Born of Dene Suline and Saulteaux descent, Alex Janvier has developed a unique, kaleidoscopic painting style synthesizes the forms and colours found in Dene basketry and beadwork with the impassioned brushstrokes of abstract artists such as Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee. Janvier creates works that play on the margins between abstraction and representation. Using complex interplays of positive and negative space, and intricate yet balanced colour patterns and flowing curvilinear lines, he is able to meld his modernist aesthetic with his concern for the survival and recognition of Aboriginal peoples. "Saklulay Sunrays" and the "Dome" series, relate to an expansive mural called "Morning Star" that Janvier painted in the vaulted ceiling of the Grand Hall at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in 1993. It chronicles the clash of cultures that took place in Canada between European settlers and Aboriginal peoples.