PNIAI - Professional Native Indian Artists Inc.
The Native Group of Seven
PNIAI or the Native Group of Seven…
Is an art collective of indigenous artists that came together beginning in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada in 1973. Formed by Daphne Odjig, Alex Janvier, Norval Morriseau, Jackson Beardy, Eddy Cobiness, Carl Ray, and Joseph M. Sanchez, the Professional Native Indian Artists, Incorporated is a groundbreaking artistic practice of a group of artists uniting to break down boundaries, condemn colonial and discriminatory social policies of the past, and show defiance in the face of complex cultural and political times. It is our hope that the evolving role of indigenous art will help redefine the culture and the capacity of 21st century institutions to examine and exhibit this and all work with objective truth.
The only surviving members of the group are Alex Janvier and Joseph M. Sanchez, who remain active elders, teachers, and painters in their community.
The 7 show exhibited from 2013 - 2016 across Canada.
Drawing on both private and public collections the exhibition brings together 120 works including those featured in formative exhibitions of the Group along with a number of recently uncovered masterworks of the period that have not been publicly accessible for quite some time. Significant works by each member are showcased demonstrating their distinctive styles and experimentations. The selection serves to challenge the myth that PNIAI members participated in a unified “Woodland style,” as well, to substantiate the avant-gardism of the Group. The exhibition seeks to honour their efforts and recognize the contributions of these seven artists to the history of First Nations aesthetic production and to the history of art on Turtle Island.