Beau Dick

Kwakwaka’wakw
1955 – 2017

Chief Beau Dick, Walas Gwa’yam was a Kwakwaka’wakw (Musgamakw Dzawada’enuxw First Nation) artist and activist who was acclaimed as one of the Northwest Coast’s most versatile and talented carvers. He was born in the community of Alert Bay, BC, and lived in Kingcome Inlet, Vancouver, and Victoria before returning to Alert Bay to live and work. He began carving at an early age, studying under his father, Benjamin Dick, his grandfather, James Dick, and other renowned artists such as Henry Hunt and Doug Cranmer. He also worked alongside master carvers Robert Davidson, Tony Hunt, and Bill Reid.

In support of the Idle No More movement, Dick performed two spiritual and political Copper-breaking ceremonies on the steps of the British Columbia legislature in Victoria in 2013, and on Parliament Hill in Ottawa in 2014. Dick created several important public works, including a transformation mask for the Canadian Pavilion at Expo 86 in Vancouver and the Ga’akstalas Totem Pole for Stanley Park, carved with Wayne Alfred and raised in 1991.

His work has been shown in exhibitions around the world, including Canada House, London, UK (1998); the 17th Biennale of Sydney, Australia (2010); documenta 14 in Athens, GR, and Kassel, DE (2017); and White Columns, New York (2019). He was the recipient of the 2012 VIVA Award and was artist-in-residence at the University of British Columbia’s Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory from 2013 to 2017.

AVAILABLE WORKS

PAST WORKS

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2021
John, Fazakas Gallery, Vancouver, BC 

2019
Early Works, Fazakas Gallery, Vancouver, BC
Devoured by Consumerism, White Columns, New York NY; Remai Modern, Saskatoon SK

2018
Beau Dick: Revolutionary Spirit, Audain Art Museum, Whistler BC

2017
Supernaturalis: Chief Beau Dick, Gallery Weekend, San Francisco
NADA Art Fair, Skylight Clarkson North, New York NY

2016
Lalakenis/All Directions: A Journey of Truth and Unity, Morris and Helen Belkin Gallery, Vancouver, BC

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2021
Beau Dick & Christophe Brunnquell, Consortium, Académie Conti, Vosne Romanée, France
Espressioni. The Proposition, Castello di Rivoli., Rivoli, Italy

2020
Winterfest: An Exhibition of Arts and Crafts, Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, CO
Independent Art Fair, Fazakas Gallery Booth, Spring Studios, New York NY
Pine’s Eye, Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh UK
Riopelle: The Call of Northern Landscapes and Indigenous Cultures, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal QC

2019
“For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you,” Selections from The Bailey Collection, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, QC
HAIR, Macaulay and Co., Vancouver BC

2018
Etnos – The Faces of Diversity, Santander Cultural, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil Hiłt̕sist̕a’a̱m (The Copper Will Be Fixed), part of Potlatch 67-67: The Potlatch Ban – Then and Now
NADA Art Fair, Skylight Clarkson North, New York NY

2017
Canadian Biennial, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa ON
Inside The Nest, Simon Preston Gallery, New York NY
The Pacific, Libby Leshgold Gallery, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Vancouver BC
Learning From Athens, documenta 14, Athens GR and Kassel DE

2016
Divergent Convergence, Fazakas Gallery, Vancouver BC
Art Toronto | Toronto International Art Fair, Fazakas Gallery Booth, Toronto ON
This is it with it as it is, Art History and Visual Art Gallery, Audain Art Centre, University of British Columbia

2015
Drama, Fazakas Gallery, Vancouver BC
The Box of Treasures: Gifts from the Supernatural, The Bill Reid Gallery, Vancouver BC

2014
Art Toronto | Toronto International Art Fair, Toronto ON
Inappropriate, Fazakas Gallery, Vancouver BC

2013
Story, Fazakas Gallery, Vancouver BC
RezErect: Native Erotica, The Bill Reid Gallery, Vancouver BC
Sakahàn: International Indigenous Art, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa ON
Witnesses: Art and Canada’s Indian Residential Schools, The Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver BC
The Voyage, or Three Years At Sea Part VI, Charles H. Scott Gallery, Vancouver BC

2011
Sacred Stories, Timeless Tales: Mythic Traditions in World Art, The Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, FL

2010
17th International Biennale of Sydney, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney AU
Monster: The Fear Inside, West Vancouver Museum, West Vancouver BC

2009
Challenging Traditions: Contemporary First Nations Art of the Northwest Coast, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, opened in Kleinberg ON then traveled throughout Canada and Switzerland. Closed Fall 2010
In the Spirit of the Ancestors: Contemporary Northwest Coast Native Art, The Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, University of Washington, Seattle

2006
75 Years of Collecting: First Nations: Myths and Realities, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver BC

2004
Supernatural: Neil Campbell and Beau Dick, The Contemporary Art Gallery of Vancouver, Vancouver BC

1998
Down From the Shimmering Sky, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver BC
Beau was one of seven artists invited to London, England to represent First Nations Canadians for the reopening of Canada House

PUBLICATIONS

2021
The Art of Protest: Political Art and Activism, edited by Alain Bieber and Francesca Gavin, Berlin: gestalten

2020
Riopelle: The Call of Northern Landscapes and Indigenous Cultures, Exhibition Catalogue, Publishing Department of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in association with 5 Continents Editions, Milan

“For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you”: Selections from the Bailey Collection, Mary-Dailey Desmarais, Publishing Department of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

2019
Devoured by Consumerism,” LaTiesha Fazakas, Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing

2017
“Beau Dick: Revolutionary Spirit,” Darrin J. Martens, Audain Art Museum, Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing

2016
Lalakenis/All Directions: A Journey of Truth and Unity,” Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, University of British Columbia

2015
“What About Power?: Inquiries Into Contemporary Sculpture”
“The Power Of The Potlatch,” British Columbia Magazine

2010
“The Beauty Of Distance, Songs Of Survival In A Precarious Age,” 17th Biennale of Sydney Catalogue, edited by David Elliot, Sydney Australia: Sydney Biennale

2009
“Challenging Traditions: Contemporary First Nations Art of the Northwest Coast,” Ian Thom, Vancouver/Toronto: Douglas & McIntyre

2004
“Supernatural: Neil Campbell And Beau Dick,” Roy Arden, The Contemporary Art Gallery of Vancouver, Vancouver BC

1984
“The Legacy: Tradition And Innovation In Northwest Coast Indian Art”, Vancouver/Toronto: Douglas & McIntyre. Macnair, Peter, Robert Joseph, and Bruce Grenville

AWARDS

2012
VIVA Award, The Jack and Doris Shadbolt Foundation for the Visual Arts

PERMANENT / CORPORATE COLLECTIONS

Museum of Civilization, Hull, QC
Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver, BC
Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC
Michael Audain collection, Vancouver, BC
U’mista Cultural Center, Alert Bay, BC
The Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Heard Museum, Phoenix, AZ
RBC Wealth Collection
TD Bank Art Collection
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, ON
Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Willamette University, Salem, OR
Canada House, London, England, UK
Damien Hirst Collection