THIS COLLECTION of work by both Native and non-Native artists speaks of the complexity of Native American historical and cultural influences in contemporary culture. Rather than focusing on artists who attempt to maintain strict cultural practices, it brings together a group of artists who engage the larger contemporary art world and are not afraid to step beyond the bounds of tradition. Focusing on a group of 10 artists who came of age since the initial Native Rights movement of the 1960s and 70s, the book emphasizes art that does not so much "look Indian," but incorporates Native content in surprising and innovative ways that defy easy categorization. The Native artists featured here focus on the evolution of cultural traditions. The non-Native artists focus primarily on the history of European colonization in America. Artists include Matthew Buckingham, Lewis deSoto, Peter Edlund, Nicholas Galanin, Jeffrey Gibson, Rigo 23, Duane Slick, Marie Watt, Edie Winograde and Yoram Wolberger.
IN THE FIRST decade of the twenty-first century, census figures attest that more and more Americans are identifying themselves as Native American. With the populace claiming Native ancestry growing three times as fast as the population as a whole, Native people are one of the fastest-growing minority groups in the United States.
Curated by Aldrich director of exhibitions Richard Klein and funded by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation, and LEF Foundation, this large-scale group exhibition looks at artists whose work deals with both the deep cultural legacies and complex histories of Native peoples in the United States. The project challenges preconceived ideas of what form Native-influenced work can take.
The ten artists in the exhibition are Matthew Buckingham, Lewis deSoto, Peter Edlund, Nicholas Galanin, Jeffrey Gibson, Rigo 23, Duane Slick, Marie Watt, Yoram Wolberger, and Edie Winograde. This is a generation that has come of age since the initial Native Rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Their work acknowledges the past, while integrating the influences of the modern world and global culture. Much of the work being considered does not look “Indian,” but rather incorporates Native content in surprising and innovative ways that defy easy categorization.