One of Canada’s most ground-breaking Indigenous artists, Carl Beam was born in West Bay on Manitoulin Island in 1943.
He was the first contemporary Indigenous artist whose work was acquired by the National Gallery of Canada. In 2000, Carl Beam was inducted into the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts, and in 2005 he was a recipient of the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts.
Exploring the tensions between Western and Indigenous relations, Beam’s used a range of media, including painting, printmaking, and sculpture. A recognizable technique of his – collage and photo-transfer – helped him bring his pieces together. Stories told through his art reflect historical moments, political commentary, and the struggle of Indigenous Peoples in the late 20th century.
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