Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun

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Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun

1957 -

Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun is a Canadian First Nations artist who integrates elements of Northwest Coast design, Coast Salish cosmology, Western landscape painting and Surrealism in his multimedia works. Born in Kamloops in 1957, Yuxweluptun explores issues such as environmentalism, land ownership and critiques of Canada’s First Nations peoples.

Yuxweluptun graduated from the Emily Carr University of Art + Design (ECUAD) in 1983. While studying at ECUAD, Yuxwelupton developed his cutting-edge style, in which he uses large-scale paintings to comment on issues in Indigenous communities. His personal and socio-political experiences ultimately act as markers for their political, environmental and cultural issues.

Many of his pieces show elements of Surrealism, such as similarities to the melting objects in Salvador Dali's paintings. Generally, Yuxweluptun's paintings are described as "provocative;" for example, his multimedia piece Residential School Dirty Laundry shows a cross made out of children's underwear with red paint to represent blood, and references the treatment of First Nations children in the Canadian Residential School system.

Although he has worked interchangeably between mediums, his ability as an artist to explore different styles is apparent in one of Yuxweluptun's earlier pieces, the 1984 work Haida Hot Dog. In this particular work, Yuxwelupton’s comments on the commodification of Haida artwork by using a Pop Art style.

Yuxweluptun's work has been included in numerous international group and solo exhibitions, such as INDIGENA: Contemporary Native Perspectives in 1992. He was the recipient of the Vancouver Institute for the Visual Arts (VIVA) award in 1998. In 2016, the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia exhibited Yuxwelupton’s works.

In 2016, His exhibition Unceded Territories took place at the University of British Columbia’s Museum of Anthropology.