Art Wilson (Wii Muk'Wilixw) 1994 Lithograph on paper 3 of 200 11X16 in. Provenance: Directly from the artist's studio, owned by the gallery.
Born in 1948, Wii Muk'Wilixw (Art Wilson) is an artist from Kispiox whose work falls traditional and contemporary art. A hereditary chief of the Gitxsan people, he is very much grounded in tradition and in his community. The powerful images present in his artwork skillfully blend traditional Northwest Coast form with elements of the post-contact world, and communicate very powerful statements concerning First Nations peoples, their history, and their future.
His politically engaged art also reveals a biting sense of humour. This piece entitled “Bingo Wars” is a depiction of the time Gitwangak chief Glen Williams earned the distinction of becoming the first Native to face charges of conducting a bingo without a permit in 1988. The money raised was to be used to pay the mortgage on the tribal council office and to build a new elementary school.
Wilson is known in art circles for what curator George Harris described as, “using elements of traditional art (Northern Formline design) that moves from traditional subject matter into social commentary, addressing issues faced by First Nations peoples, often specifically in the context of his own people’s experience but looking also at the issues and experience of First Nations peoples across the country.”