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Art General

Reservation X

The Power of Place in Aboriginal Contemporary Art

edited by Gerald McMaster

Goose Lane Editions
Initial publish date
Oct 1998
General, Native American Studies, Canadian
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 1998
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 15
  • Grade: 10


Reservation X was the name of a stunning exhibition that opened in the First Peoples' Hall of the Canadian Museum of Civilization. It consisted of installations by seven of North America's foremost native artists: Mary Longman, Shelly Niro, Marianne Nicolson, C. Maxx Stevens, Nora Naranjo-Morse, Mateo Romero, and Jolene Rickard. The book includes 8 full pages of colour photographs of each artist's work, essays inspired by the thesis of the exhibition and illustrated with archival photos, critical biographies of the artists, and statements by and photos of the artists themselves. Both the exhibition and book explore the concept of community and the many contradictions and dislocations between life on and off the reserve.

About the author

Gerald McMaster, PhD, is the Fredrik S. Eaton Curator of Canadian Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario. During his tenure as Curator of Contemporary Indian Art at the Canadian Museum of Civilization (1981-2000), he established the first Indian and Inuit gallery at the CMC. In 1992, he curated Indigena for the Canadian Museum of Man and co-authored the book Indigena: Contemporary Native Perspectives in Canadian Art. His publications include Reservation X (1998), Native Universe (2004) and Remix: New Modernities in a Post-Indian World (2007). In 1995, he served as Canadian Commissioner and curated Edward Poitras's exhibition at the Venice Biennale. From 2000 to 2004, he was Deputy Assistant Director for Cultural Resources at the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution. At NMAI, he curated First American Art (2004) and New Tribe / New York (2005). He was awarded the Order of Canada (2007) and the National Aboriginal Achievement Award in 2005.

Gerald McMaster's profile page

Librarian Reviews

Reservation X

Combining in-depth essays and representative photographs of installations from the Reservation X exhibition shown in New York and Ottawa, this companion book explores the nature of community and place as it applies to Aboriginal identity and expression in Aboriginal homelands. These artists represent the redefinition of Aboriginal art from the limitations of mainstream work to challenging non-Aboriginal definitions of what is an Aboriginal in Canada. The essays and art acknowledge that for most Aboriginal peoples the reservation (reserve) is home and that this negotiated space set aside by governments to isolate Aboriginal communities turned out to be a useful container for maintaining and evolving a unique culture. Through four exploratory and critical essays accompanying the work of each of the seven artists, the evolution of a relationship to the reservation is articulated.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. Canadian Aboriginal Books for Schools. 2008-2009.

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