Pamela McCallum is a Professor of English at the University of Calgary. She was one of the
founding members of the editorial group for Cultural Critique at the University of Minnesota,
and she is cu...
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Cultural Memories and Imagined Futures: The Art of Jane Ash Poitras
In the past decade, Jane Ash Poitras, a First Nations woman from
northern Alberta, has emerged as one of the most important Canadian
artists of her generation.
Raised by a German widow who
powdered her dark skin and tried to make her straight hair curl,
Poitras did not begin to fully explore her indigenous roots until
adulthood. Seeking out her extended family and participating in
profound cultural experiences, she began to discover the side
of herself that she was denied as a child. At the same time, she
made a commitment to her art. With the opportunity to pursue a
Masters degree at Columbia University in New York, Poitras was at
the center of the North American contemporary art scene. Together,
these dual influences shaped Poitras’s unique style, one that
combines representational strategies of postmodern art — collage,
layering, overpainting, incorporation of found objects — with a
deep commitment to the politics and issues common to indigenous
Cultural Memories and Imagined Futures
situates Poitras's work in the national context of Canadian First
Nations art during the late 1980s and early 1990s, the period when
she began to receive wide recognition. It is the first book-length
study to examine Poitras' career as a whole, recounting her
development as an artist, participation in major exhibitions, and
recognition as a significant Canadian and international artist.
Along with detailed analysis of specific artworks, author Pamela
McCallum has also compiled the most extensive bibliography of
writings on Poitras to date.
University of Calgary Press
25 color illustrationsArt in Profile
series, No. 6U.S. distribution
160 pp., 6.00" x 9.00", August 2011
25 colour illustrationsU.S. distribution
160 pp., 10 " x 7 ", August