Alex Janvier: Modern Indigenous Master

Discover the universal language of Alex Janvier, one of Canada’s most acclaimed contemporary artists, in this major retrospective at the National Gallery of Canada.

Alex Janvier is one of Canada’s most acclaimed contemporary artists. His unique and authentic style, a combination of Indigenous and modern art influences and techniques, is not seen anywhere else in the world. Universal in appeal, his paintings reference Indigenous culture and history, as well as his own outlook on life.

This retrospective celebrates Janvier’s life-long career devoted to art, knowledge and creativity. Featuring more than 150 paintings and drawings, the exhibition invites visitors to fully explore the artist’s distinct style, with its vivid colours and calligraphic lines.

On display are renowned masterpieces such as Untitled (1986) and Lubicon (1988), as well many drawings from his early years spent at residential school. Also included is an entire room of circle paintings, an unusual shape of artwork mastered by Janvier. Several of the works presented are on view for the first time.

Don’t wait. Immerse yourself in Alex Janvier's universe at the National Gallery of Canada.


Friday, November 25, 2016 Monday, April 17, 2017


National Gallery of Canada Special Exhibitions Galleries
380 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON K1N 9N4


Adults: $12
Seniors (65 +): $10
Students (with valid ID): $10
Youth (age 12–19): $6
Children (age 11 and under): Free
Members: Free (become a member)
All prices include tax.

About the Artist

Of Denesuline and Saulteaux descent, Alexandre Simeon Janvier was born in 1935 on the Le Goff Reserve in Alberta, where he had a traditional upbringing speaking the Dene language. At the age of eight, he became a pupil at the Blue Quills Indian Residential School, where he was encouraged to pursue art.

For over 50 years, Janvier has devoted himself to the development of Indigenous art as an artist, activist, educator and government consultant. Celebrated and honoured on many occasions, in 2002, Janvier received a National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award and he was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2007.

Janvier is a prolific artist. He has produced thousands of paintings and continues to paint in his home and studio in Cold Lake, Alberta.


Art truly is a universal language that can communicate any idea, any feeling, of anyone, regardless of their social standing, their religious beliefs or the language they speak.

- Alex Janvier

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Supported by the Department of Canadian Heritage through the Canada Travelling Exhibitions Indemnification Program