VINTAGE VISIONS - Robert Genn & Allen Sapp

Includes Robert Genn, Allen Sapp
Friday, February 7, 2020

Showing Allen Sapp, RCA, OC

VINTAGE VISIONS - Robert Genn & Allen Sapp

Canada House Gallery is pleased to share a collection of vintage paintings by two of Canada's most prominent painters, Robert Genn & Allen Sapp.

Robert Genn, SFCA (1936 - 2014):
"The biggest thing is the appreciation of the magnificent universe we have around us. Being a painter, particularly, is beyond belief as a way of honouring that. Painting – particularly painting on location – is almost like a prayer. It's defined who I am and what I am."

Allen Sapp, RCA, OC (1928 - 2015):
"I can't write a story or tell one in the white man's language so I tell what I want to say with my paintings. I put it down so it doesn't get lost and people will be able to see and remember."

MY KOOKUM MAKING A QUILT WHILE I DRAW  2004
MY KOOKUM MAKING A QUILT WHILE I DRAW 2004
AS543C
acrylic, canvas
16 x 20 in.
SOLD


MY DOG LIKES PLAYING IN THE SNOW  1999
MY DOG LIKES PLAYING IN THE SNOW 1999
AS542C
acrylic, canvas
18 x 18 in.
SOLD


PEOPLE GOING TO CHURCH  1996
PEOPLE GOING TO CHURCH 1996
AS541C
acrylic, canvas
16 x 20 in.
$4,775 CAD
FROM ARCHIVES

NOOKUM - MAGGIE SOONIAS  2005
NOOKUM - MAGGIE SOONIAS 2005
AS531C
acrylic, canvas
14 x 11 in.
$3,390 CAD
FROM ARCHIVES

ALMOST FINISHED ONE LOAD   2001
ALMOST FINISHED ONE LOAD 2001
AS421C
acrylic, canvas
18 x 24 in.
SOLD


LONE HORSE   CIRCA 1960'S
LONE HORSE CIRCA 1960'S
AS419C
acrylic, canvas
34 x 48 in.
$14,500 CAD
FROM ARCHIVES

JUST COMING FROM TOWN ON LITTLE PINE RESERVE   1997
JUST COMING FROM TOWN ON LITTLE PINE RESERVE 1997
AS353C
acrylic, canvas
18 x 24 in.
SOLD


January 2, 1928 - Dec 28, 2015

Allen Sapp was born in his grandparent’s log cabin on the Red Pheasant Reserve in Saskatchewan. Allen’s mother died when he was quite young, and his grandmother, Nokum, raised him. Their relationship was very close and despite Nokum’s passing, she was a great influence on Allen’s life.

Allen Sapp was Plains Cree, descended from Chief Poundmaker, who is one of the Great Chiefs and is still honoured by his people today. In his early years, Allen’s health was poor. During a serious illness when he was about eight years old, his grandmother’s sister said that unless Allen was given a new Indian name, he would die. Allen received his Cree name, Kiskayetum; translated it means “He perceives it.” It was the first of many spiritual experiences in his life. When he was in his early teens Allen was bedridden with meningitis, which prevented him from attending school. Unable to read or write, Allen spent the hours of solitude sketching and drawing, which suited his shy temperament. A self-taught artist, when Allen first started working in oils his pallet was restricted by his budget to only a few colours. His early paintings were done in white, brown and black.

Allen Sapp later moved to North Battleford, Saskatchewan, where he painted at night and walked the streets during the day to find buyers for his work. When he was in his mid-thirties, he met Dr. Allan Gonor, who became a very good friend and patron. Dr. Gonor encouraged Allen to paint what he remembered of life growing up on the reserve. He promised to buy much of Allen’s work and arranged the sale of other paintings so that Allen could make a living as an artist without having to rely on welfare. With Dr. Gonor’s support, Allen never looked back. Allen's art is a window to life on the reserve as it was when he was growing up in the 1930's and 40's. Many of these scenes have disappeared from current reserve life. Allen's paintings depict the struggle for survival by a proud people in a harsh environment.

In 1969 and 1970, successful exhibitions in Saskatoon and Vancouver launched Allen’s career. Within the next five years, Allen Sapp’s paintings were widely exhibited and acclaimed throughout Canada, and in London, New York and Los Angeles.

Allen Sapp is an inspiration to younger Native painters across Canada. At the "New Beginnings" Native Art Show, held in conjunction with the Native Business Summit in Toronto in June 1986, Allen Sapp was singled out as a Senior Native artist in Canada, "whose contributions to the present renaissance of Native art and culture will only be measured by history."

Born on January 2, 1928 in Red Pheasant Reserve near North Battleford, SK. Died on December 28, 2015. Nationality is Cree

Awards

1995 Saskatchewan Arts Board's Lifetime Award for Excellence in the Arts, three paintings were selected to hang in the Canadian
Embassy in Moscow
1985 Saskatchewan Award of Merit

Publications

2010 Rocky Mountain Outlook
1996 "I Heard the Drums", Allen Sapp, published by Stoddart, three paintings were selected for UNICEF'S card series
1990 "Two Spirits Soar: The Art of Allen Sapp", published by Stoddart
1994 "On the Road Again", CBC
1989 "Allen Sapp: For Art's Sake", film documentary, STV
1983 "Four Prairie Artists", film documentary, CBC
1973 "Colours of Pride", film documentary, National Film Board of Canada
1971 "By Instinct A Painter", film documentary, CBC
1977 "A Cree Life: The Art of Allen Sapp", John Anson Warner and Thecla Bradshaw

Affiliations

1975 Royal Canadian Academy of Art
1987 Officer of the Order of Canada

Credits

1989 Opening and dedication of the Allen Sapp Gallery - The Gonor Collection, North Battleford, SK