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Art Native American

Echoes of the Supernatural

The Graphic Art of Robert Davidson

by (author) Gary Wyatt

with Robert Davidson

foreword by Karen Duffek

Figure 1 Publishing
Initial publish date
Oct 2022
Native American
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2022
    List Price

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Over six decades of brilliant prints and paintings from the most prominent Northwest Coast artist of his generation.

Finalist for the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize, a BC & Yukon Book Prize

Since leaving Haida Gwaii to study art in Vancouver - where he carved argillite with Bill Reid in a department store and hand-sold prints on the UBC campus - Guud sans glans, Robert Davidson has moved between two worlds. As a host of Potlatches, carver of masks and totem poles, and performer and teacher of traditional Haida songs and dances, he has been one of the driving forces in the resurgence of Haida culture in the aftermath of colonization. As an artist working in serigraphs, acrylic, wood, silver, and aluminum to preserve and breathe new life into Haida formline, he has become among the most respected, celebrated, and thrilling artists in the country, if not the world.

Echoes of the Supernatural is the first publication in over forty years to offer a comprehensive visual retrospective of his astonishing career. It includes new photography of over 150 prints, as well as images of over fifty paintings; numerous painted woven hats, painted and carved sculptures, jewellery, aluminum sculpture; and dozens of archival photos. His long-time gallerist Gary Wyatt, who worked closely with Davidson in shaping the book and received full access to his archives, details the artist's life and career, and offers insights on the work based on extensive new interviews. A foreword by Karen Duffek situates the contours of Davidson's practice within the broader Northwest Coast art world.


About the authors

Gary Wyatt was educated at the Alberta College of Art and the University of British Columbia, where he also interned in museum studies and Northwest Coast art at the Museum of Anthropology. He was curator of the Northwest Coast collection at the Inuit Gallery from 1987 to 1995. Since 1995 he has been a curator at the new Spirit Wrestler Gallery in Vancouver. His first book, Spirit Faces: Contemporary Masks of the Northwest Coast, was published to critical acclaim and has sold over 25,000 copies in Canada, the United States and Europe.

Gary Wyatt's profile page

Robert Davidson is a carver, sculptor, painter, printmaker and jeweller, whose work is in private and public collections internationally. He is also a student of the Haida language, culture and history, and performs Haida songs and dances as a member of the Rainbow Creek Dancers. Two books have been published on his work, Robert Davidson, Haida Printmaker by Hilary Stewart and Robert Davidson: Eagle of the Dawn edited by Ian M. Thom, in conjunction with a major retrospective of his work at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Robert Davidson's profile page

Karen Duffek is the Curator of Contemporary Visual Arts and Pacific Northwest at the Museum of Anthropology (MOA) at the University of British Columbia. Her research focus lies both in the history of MOA's Northwest Coast Aboriginal collections — including connecting and documenting historical objects with descendants and originating community members — and in the relationship of twentieth-century and contemporary art to cultural practice. Her publications include the books Bill Reid and Beyond: Expanding on Modern Native Art (co-edited with Charlotte Townsend-Gault, 2004) and The Transforming Image: Painted Arts of Northwest Coast First Nations (co-authored with Bill McLennan, 2000).

Karen Duffek's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"The book is a visual marvel, with its bold colours and the dramatic curves of Haida formline, aspects that are incorporated into its design, including the stunning cover." - Galleries West

"This singularly gorgeous book showcases the extraordinary work of Guud San Glans Robert Davidson, one of the world's most innovative and influential contemporary Indigenous artists. Echoes of the Supernatural is art publishing at its best, delivering a volume of breath-taking textual and print quality" - British Columbia Review

"Since the 1960s, Guud san glans Robert Davidson has been instrumental in the renaissance of Haida art and culture and has long been appreciated as one of the most inventive artists working within Haida artistic traditions." - Broadway World

"A stunning and interesting collection of Davidson's prints, paintings, and drawings." - Calgary Herald

"Robert Davidson is a modern master who helped spark a renaissance." - Vancouver Sun

"Davidson described his role in the resurgence of Northwest Coast art and culture as one of not only solving the "puzzle", but of bringing it back. - Stir

"A big and bountiful book, by independent writer and curator Gary Wyatt, it is jointly published by the VAG and Figure.1 - not as a catalogue to the show but as a separate and distinct record of Davidson's astounding achievements in two-dimensional art forms." - Preview Art Magazine

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