Art Thompson's In Memory of Art Thompson

Art Thompson was one of the 20th Century's preeminent Nuu-chah-nulth artists, and in part responsible for the conception and popularity of Nuu-chah-nulth print work. Art had an incredible and distinct style: a marriage of traditional Nuu-chah-nulth and Coast Salish form and subject with modern technique and design sensibility, which has allowed his work to endure not only in its visual brilliance, but also cultural and spiritual significance. 

Art was diagnosed with terminal cancer at age 54, and passed away only four months later in March, 2003. In this relatively short frame of time, Art designed, printed, and signed this silkscreen, In Memory of Art Thompson, forever memorializing himself in a limited run of 150 copies before destroying all trial proofs and printing stencils. The print depicts Art surrounded by four ravens, holding a double-headed wolf band (Art was a member of the Tlukwana or Wolf Society) atop another upside-down human head. Art's shoulders and chest envoke a blossoming flower, and he has clawed or taloned feet. Both Nuu-chah-nulth and Coast Salish (to which Art also had ancestral roots) design elements are featured -- the asymmetry of his hair, the Salish trigons placed throughout, the fine, detailed linework, and the large, solid blocks of colour.

In Memory of Art Thompson measures 22" x 22", and was released in September, 2004. It is the only auto-memorializing print we know of.

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