I was absolutely thrilled to recently acquire this Benjamin Chee Chee gouache. (Dated 1975, size 16x22inches)
Chee Chee, in the mid 1970’s began a series he is said to have called his “bennie birds” in which, using the elegant lines of the Canada Goose, he explored and played with the concept of using negative space and minimalist lines and colour to express the essence of this large and ubiquitous bird which is so fixed in the Canadian (and especially the First Nations) psyche.
I think this one is my favourite by far as the sense of movement and the spare but flowing lines establish a bird roosting on the ground, but stirring its wings to take off again. I seem to hear the beat of wings and the honking high in the air in the cold Canadian dusk which heralds yet again the migration of the geese ahead of the coming winter.
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