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list price: $34.95
edition:Paperback
category: Art
published: Dec 2017
ISBN:9781772031706
publisher: Heritage House Publishing

Sonny Assu

A Selective History

by Candice Hopkins; Ellyn Walker; Richard Van Camp & Marianne Nicolson, by (artist) Sonny Assu, foreword by Janet Rogers

tagged: canadian, artists' books, native american
Description

A stunning retrospective highlighting the playfulness, power, and subversive spirit of Northwest Coast Indigenous artist Sonny Assu.

Through large-scale installation, sculpture, photography, printmaking, and painting, Sonny Assu merges the aesthetics of Indigenous iconography with a pop-art sensibility. This stunning retrospective spans over a decade of Assu’s career, highlighting more than 120 full-colour works, including several never-before-exhibited pieces.

 

Through analytical essays and personal narratives, Richard Van Camp, Marianne Nicolson, Candice Hopkins, and Ellyn Walker provide brilliant commentary on Assu’s practice, its meaning in the context of contemporary art, and its wider significance in the struggle for Indigenous cultural and political autonomy. Exploring themes of Indigenous rights, consumerism, branding, humour, and the ways in which history informs contemporary ideas and identities, Sonny Assu: A Selective History is the first major full-scale book to pay tribute to this important, prolific, and vibrant figure in the Canadian contemporary art world.

About the Authors

Candice Hopkins is a curator and writer who has held curatorial positions at the National Gallery of Canada, the Western Front, and the Walter Phillips Gallery. She is currently the chief curator at the AIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Hopkins holds an MA from the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College. Her writings on history, art, and vernacular architecture have been published by MIT Press, BlackDog Publishing, Revolver Press, New York University, The Fillip Review and, the National Museum of the American Indian, among others. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


Sonny Assu was raised in North Delta, BC, over 250 kilometres away from his ancestral home on Vancouver Island. At the age of eight, he discovered his Kwakwaka’wakw heritage, which would later become the conceptual focal point of his contemporary art practice. Assu graduated from Emily Carr University in 2002 and was the recipient of their distinguished alumni award in 2006. He received the BC Creative Achievement Award in First Nations art in 2011 and was long-listed for the Sobey Art Award in 2012, 2013, and 2015. He is a current MFA candidate at Concordia University. His work has been accepted into the National Gallery of Canada, Seattle Art Museum, Vancouver Art Gallery, Museum of Anthropology at UBC, Burke Museum at the University of Washington, Audain Art Museum in Whistler, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Hydro Quebec, Lotto Quebec, and various other public and private collections across Canada, the United States, and the UK. In 2016, Assu and his family moved "home" to unceded Ligwilda'x_w territory (Campbell River, BC). For more information, visit sonnyassu.com.


is a curator and writer based in Toronto. Her work focuses on cross-cultural and artistic production as a type of decolonizing practice. Her research asks questions of inclusion and coalition in relation to the nation-state. Her projects have been presented by the Art Gallery of Ontario, Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art, Xpace Cultural Centre, and Videofag. Her writing has been published in C Magazine, the Journal for Curatorial Studies, PUBLIC, Magenta magazine, Studio, and Sketch. Ellyn holds an MFA at OCAD University in the Criticism & Curatorial Practice program.


Richard Van Camp is a member of the Dogrib (Tlicho) Nation from Fort Smith, Northwest Territories. He is a graduate of the En'owkin International School of Writing, the University of Victoria's Creative Writing BFA Program, and the Master’s in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia. He is an internationally renowned storyteller and best-selling author who began his career as an intern on the writing staff of the acclaimed CBC TV series North of 60, and continued on as a script and cultural consultant for four seasons. His novel The Lesser Blessed was adapted into a film and premiered in 2012 at the Toronto International Film Festival. Richard has also published several short story collections, including Night Moves and The Moon of Letting Go; children’s books, including What’s the Most Beautiful Thing You Know About Horses? with artist George Littlechild and Little You with artist Julie Flett; and graphic novels, including Three Feathers with artist Krystal Mateus. He has taught creative writing at the University of British Columbia, worked as a Creative Writing and Storytelling instructor with the Emily Carr Institute, and was the Writer in Residence at the University of Alberta for 2011 and 2012 and at MacEwan University in 2013 and 2014. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta.


(‘Tayagila’ogwa) is an artist of Scottish and Dzawada_’enux_w First Nations descent. Her training encompasses both traditional Kwakwa_ka_’wakw forms and culture and Western European–based art practice. She has completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Emily Carr University of Art and Design (1996), a Masters in Fine Arts (1999), a Masters in Linguistics and Anthropology (2005), and a PhD in Linguistics, Anthropology, and Art History (2013) at the University of Victoria. She has exhibited her artwork locally, nationally, and internationally; has written and published numerous essays and articles; and has participated in multiple speaking engagements. Her practice engages with issues of Aboriginal histories and politics arising from a passionate involvement in cultural revitalization and sustainability. She lives in Victoria, BC.


(‘Tayagila’ogwa) is an artist of Scottish and Dzawada_’enux_w First Nations descent. Her training encompasses both traditional Kwakwa_ka_’wakw forms and culture and Western European–based art practice. She has completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Emily Carr University of Art and Design (1996), a Masters in Fine Arts (1999), a Masters in Linguistics and Anthropology (2005), and a PhD in Linguistics, Anthropology, and Art History (2013) at the University of Victoria. She has exhibited her artwork locally, nationally, and internationally; has written and published numerous essays and articles; and has participated in multiple speaking engagements. Her practice engages with issues of Aboriginal histories and politics arising from a passionate involvement in cultural revitalization and sustainability. She lives in Victoria, BC.

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