While Alex recognizes the artists Wassily Kandinsky (Russian) and Paul Klee (Swiss) as influences, his style is unique. A March 2010 exhibition “I Love My Line” eloquently sums up, in Alex’s own words, a lifetime of Original Works of Art with his fine flowing lines. Commonly referred to as “Signature Style” these paintings are only recognizable as ‘a Janvier’. Many of his masterpieces involve an eloquent blend of both abstract and representational images with bright, often symbolic colors. As a First Nations person emerging from a history of oppression and many struggles for cultural empowerment, Janvier paints both the challenges and celebrations that he has encountered in his lifetime. Alex proudly credits the beadwork and birch bark basketry of his mother as influencing his art.
As a member of the commonly referred to “Indian Group of Seven,” Janvier is one of the significant pioneering aboriginal artists in Canada, and as such has influenced many generations of aboriginal artists. By virtue of his art, Alex Janvier was selected to represent Canada in a Canadian/Chinese Cultural Exchange in 1985. When he returned home Alex was inspired by the beautiful gardens in Beijing to create “Liyan Gardens”. Although he has completed several murals nationally, Janvier speaks of the 450 meter squared dome entitled “Morning Star” at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, as a major highlight in his career. Another very significant commission “Beaver Hills”, painted in 1975, is at Strathcona County Hall, Sherwood Park, Alberta. Alex is honoured to be creating a new mural for the Library Balconies in the upcoming Community Center in 2010; it will be adjacent to the Strathcona County Hall. Alex Janvier’s first mural was painted at the Indian Pavilion at Expo 1967. In January 2004, one of Janvier’s original paintings was displayed in Paris, France at the Canadian Forum on Cultural Enterprise.
In recognition of his success, in 2008 Alex
Janvier received two honorary Doctorates of Laws from Canadian Universities, was presented the Governor General’s Award of Visual and Media Arts, and was awarded the Marion Nicoll Visual Arts Award. Alex is a recognized member of both the Order of Canada and the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts. He has also earned three prestigious Lifetime Achievement Awards from the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, the Tribal Chiefs Institute, and Cold Lake First Nations. In 2010 Alex will be invested into the Alberta Order of Excellence, the highest provincial honour for Alberta.
Janvier’s passion and natural talent for creative expression remains strong to this day. In 2003, the Janvier family opened a gallery in the City of Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada and www.alexjanvier.com was launched in 2004. Although Alex is known internationally as an artist and muralist, he has a very humble approach to life. He is grateful to be able to paint full time for it is what he loves to do. His paintings are full of culturally significant themes and history, sometimes recording the pristine beauty of our Mother Earth. The magnitude of spirituality in his paintings will keep his art alive for centuries to come.
Born on 1935 in Le Geoff Reserve, Cold Lake First Nations, AB. Nationality is Dene Suline/Saulteaux