On a Good Day: Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun stands his ground

Yuxweluptun’s abstract paintings can seem off-kilter with his figurative works but, in fact, they share features. Dubbed “Ovoidism” by Yuxweluptun, the works employ the figure of the ovoid, although here, it is the sole graphic element. He also uses a more limited palette in the abstracts and, unlike the smooth surfaces of the landscapes, the paint is applied in a relatively thick impasto. The art historical references are often quite distinct, frequently reminding one of Paul-Émile Borduas and the Automatistes. Like their Surrealist forebears, the Automatistes were also striving to tap the creative stream of the subconscious.

I tell myself only half-jokingly that Yuxweluptun subconsciously embraces them because, like him, they rejected the Catholic church. He characterizes his approach to the abstracts as purely intuitive, often without preliminary design. “I have fun making them,” he tells me. “There is an intellectual process of balance, design, colour, that comes out of just being. I like all the things about creating a neo-Native gaze. When you’re so busy being oppressed you have to take the time out to enjoy your own life. So it’s not always a bad colonial day. I’m having a good Indian day when I’m making. A good Indian day is a good day to be, to create.”

 

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