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Item Name: Painting
Title: Barricades and Bridges (triptych)
Maker: Bob Boyer
Year: 1990
Country: Canadian
Materials: oil on canvas
Measurements: L. Panel 250.25 x 81.25 cm (wide) C. Panel 138.85 x 313.0 cm (wide) R. Panel 250.25 x 81.25 cm (wide)
ID Number: PC90.13
Legal Status: PERMANENT COLLECTION


Extended Label Info: Commissioned as a site-specific artwork for the RPL’s historic Albert Branch in 1990, this set of paintings by Bob Boyer is a good example of his abstract painting style. The colours and geometric shapes are based on Indigenous designs Boyer studied in New Mexico and Saskatchewan. When Boyer began his artistic career in the late 1960s, he painted portraits and landscapes but during the 1970’s, he began to experiment with large-scale abstract oil paintings. His artistic breakthrough came with his acclaimed series Blanket Statements (1983 – 1995). Inspired by the political banners he saw in China and Japan, Boyer used Hudson Bay Company fur trade style flannel and wool blankets for a series of geometric paintings based on Northern Plains First Nations beadwork. The series uses the materials of the fur-trade to address the injustice, environmental destruction and colonialism in Canadian history. During the last decade of his life, Boyer worked with a variety of media and produced work which celebrated Indigenous experience, cosmology and spirituality. Bob Boyer (1948 – 2004) was a renowned Métis artist, art historian, curator and educator. Born in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Boyer attended the University of Saskatchewan's Regina Campus (University of Regina) and earned a Bachelor of Education (Art) in 1971. In 1978, Boyer teaching at the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College (now First Nations University of Canada). A member of Society of Canadian Artists of Native Ancestry (SCANA), Boyer was a tireless advocate for increased recognition of Aboriginal artists. Boyer's work has been widely exhibited and is held in national collections such as the Canada Council Art Bank (Ottawa), National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa), Saskatchewan Arts Board, Winnipeg Art Gallery, MacKenzie Art Gallery (Regina), Mendel Art Gallery (Saskatoon), Department of Indian and Northern Affairs (Ottawa), and the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto.