Ojibwa artist Eddy Cobiness was a founding member of the Indian Group of Seven, an association of native artists of the Woodland School.
Cobiness was born in 1933 and raised in Warroad, Minnesota. After a stint in the US Army where he was a Golden Gloves boxer, he moved to Canada and lived on the Buffalo Point Reserve on the shores of Lake of the Woods.
Like many of the Woodland School artists he was self taught.
He began by illustrating scenes from his community and then evolved to more abstract forms. Influenced by the work of Benjamin Chee Chee, by the 1960's he was recognized for stylized images of animals. In an interview that was given to Windspeaker reporter David Hickey in 1992, he claimed to be much influenced by Picasso's sparse use of line and colour.
Cobiness worked in oil, acrylic, watercolour, pen and ink and coloured pencil, signing his treaty number '47' to his later works.
Eddy died in 1996.
Canadian Museum of Civilization, Hull, Quebec
Children's Hospital, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Government Building, Churchill, Manitoba [murals]
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Ottawa, Ontario
McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario
Province of Manitoba Offices, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Ontario
Winnipeg Manitoba City Hall
Woodland Cultural Centre, Brantford, Ontario
Other Native Artists