Northwest Coast Indian Art: An Analysis of Form

Overview

The masterworks of Northwest Coast Indians are admired today as among the great achievements of the world’s primitive artisans. The painted and carved wooden screens, chests and boxes for storage and cooking, dishes, rattles, crest hats, and other ceremonial paraphernalia reveal a rare artistic virtuosity and document the unique involvement of these craftsmen with their environment.

After many years of examining countless artifacts, from Bella Coola to Yakutat Bay, and after ...

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Overview

The masterworks of Northwest Coast Indians are admired today as among the great achievements of the world’s primitive artisans. The painted and carved wooden screens, chests and boxes for storage and cooking, dishes, rattles, crest hats, and other ceremonial paraphernalia reveal a rare artistic virtuosity and document the unique involvement of these craftsmen with their environment.

After many years of examining countless artifacts, from Bella Coola to Yakutat Bay, and after himself creating objects in the same style, artist-teacher Bill Holm makes available the results of his investigation in this handsomely illustrated volume. With his deep knowledge and understanding of Indian art, the author has recognized how these pieces, although varied in origin, material, size, and purpose, are related to a surprising degree in the organization and form of their two-dimensional surface decoration.

The author presents an incisive analysis of the use of color, line, and texture; the organization of space; and such typical forms as ovoids, eyelids, U forms, and hands and feet. The evidence upon which he bases his conclusions constitutes a repository of valuable information for all succeeding researchers in the field.

University of Washington Press

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Editorial Reviews

Art Journal

The drawings, together with suitable photographs and a beautiful format, combine into a masterpiece of printer's art.

Vancouver Sun

[A]n indispensable text for anyone wishing to penetrate beyond the narrative and ceremonial aspects of Northwest Coast Indian art.

Seattle Times

Holm inspired a renaissance.. Terminology he invented.. are today the standard way of referring to the art.

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Product Details

Table of Contents

AbbreviationsHistorical BackgroundSymbolism and RealismUses of Two-Dimensional ArtElements of the ArtPrinciples of Form and OrganizationConclusionsAppendixBibliographyIndex

University of Washington Press

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2000

    A must for artists

    Bill Holm has taken a scientific approach to the study of North West Coast art. Thru the systematic study of artifacts in museums, one can find precisely what is correct in this art form, and what is not. This book has helped me devlop a more critical eye. I've always known what I liked, now I know why.

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