Acrylic on Canvas40" H60" W
This is one of Haida artist Robert Davidson's most recent paintings and it was included in his solo show "Robert Davidson: Progression of Form" which took place in the summer of 2015 at the Gordon Smith Gallery of Canadian Art. The show focused on Davidson's most recent pieces, featuring his more abstract work. From the Exhibition catalogue, Davidson states, "The Art is like any other language. Once one has an understanding and knowledge of the vocabulary, one can expand with confidence with that knowledge. In other words there are boundless possibilities within the vocabulary of Northwest Coast Art"
Ian M. Thom on Xyaalang (again from the catalogue):
“Xyaalang might be described as a red shape with a contained yellow shape and a yellow shape with a contained black shape but such a prosaic description would do little neither to the rollicking sense of rhythm that activates the image nor to the complexity of the composition. The image does indeed evoke the sense of dancing and movement within three-dimensional space that defines dance. As Davidson has observed, 'when I draw one line I am actually creating two spaces.' Here it is hard to say how many spaces he has created with his lines - lines that do not exist as distinct entities on a field but only come into being when two different colour fields meet. Does the yellow form a consistent background upon which the red and black shapes exist, thus implying only two spaces - foreground and background - or are there five spaces? What is clear is that the distortion of the black u-shape and the attenuation of the two tri-neg shapes (within the red shape) and at the right edge of the work, are what gives the work its' visual rhythm. The image does indeed evoke the sense of dancing and the movement within three-dimentional space that defines dance"