THE FOUR OF US
acrylic on canvas
signed and dated ‘81
34 ins x 28 ins; 86.4 cms x 71.1 cms
Daphne Odjig’s attraction to the cubist style is evident in The Four of Us. In remarking on Cubism, Odjig asserted that her enjoyment of the style stemmed from its "disregard for perspectival space, its skewing of the elements and relationships of reality, and its central compositional structure." The same quotation could serve as a description for this work. So blended are the shapes and colours that comprise the figures, the house and the tree, that the viewer can scarcely delineate the forms from one another. This intentional mixture and fusion, coupled with black outlines and opaque colours, is resonant with the interconnective lines present in sacred pictographs. Often associated with the New Woodland School, Odjig’s works offer a powerful counterpoint to the paintings of Norval Morrisseau. In The Four of Us, primary palettes are abandoned for beige tones and blues that evoke the warmth of family and of the home.
Bob Boyer, Carol Podedworny and Phillip Gevik, Odjig: The Art of Daphne Odjig, 1960-2000, Key Porter Books, Toronto, 2001, page 17.
The Shayne Gallery, Montreal
Private Collection, Montreal