Modern Native American Art Explored in New Traveling Exhibit “Action/Abstraction Redefined”

George Morrison (Chippewa), White Painting No.1, 1965, oil on canvas, 50.5 x 50.5 in., MoCNA Collection, CHP-72.

The Cahoon Museum of American Art (Mass.) on Cape Cod makes its debut Action/abstraction redefinedthe first major traveling exhibition analyzing modern Native American art from the mid-1940s to the 1970s inspired by abstract expressionism, color field and hard-edge painting and created by leading artists including George Morisson (Chippewa) Fritz Scholder (Mission/ Luiseño), and Canon TC (Caddo/Kiowa). These innovative artists explored new avenues of artistic expression and challenged stereotypical expectations of Native American art.

Doug Hyde (Nez Perce) Sun and Moon Gods, 1967, woodblock, mixed media, 43.5 x 12 in., MoCNA Collection, NP-5.

Their paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints and ceramics were created in studios across the country and at the Institute of American Indian Art (IAIA) in Santa Fe, where artists were encouraged to experiment and take risks. As part of the avant-garde movements of the time, Native American artists redefine the concept of abstraction and push the boundaries of contemporary Native American art. George Morisson actively contributed to the Abstract Expressionism movement in New York, where he exhibited and was associated with Francois KlineWillem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, and other avant-garde artists of the time. Like the Abstract Expressionists, who broke with conventions of representation and prioritized experimentation, IAIA artists redefined the concept of abstraction by creating deeply personal works inspired by their own traditional aesthetics and influences. artists from New York.

Among the artists included in this exhibition are George Morisson (Chippewa); Lloyd Kiva New (Cherokee); Canon TC (Caddo/Kiowa); Fritz Scholder (Mission/ Luiseño); Alfred young man (Shout); Linda Lomahaftewa (Hopi/Choctaw); John Hoover (Aleut), Edna Massy (Cherokee), Count Eder (Sioux Yanktonai); Neil Parson (Blackfoot); Kevin red star (Raven); Redstar Prize (Raven); Peter Jones (Onondaga); George Office (Blackfoot); Ralph Aragon (Pueblos de San Felipe/Acoma); Henri Hank Gobin (Tulalip/Snohomish); Alice Loisel (Chippewa); Patrick Swazo Hinds (Tesuque Pueblo); Carl Tubby (Choctaw), and others.

As part of the exhibition, a number of educational programs will be offered.

March 31, 7:00 p.m. Action Abstraction Redefined – Virtual Artist Panel will take place at the museum. The panel will include artists like Anita Fields and Linda Lomahaftewa in conversation with Manuela Well-Off-Man, art historian and curator at the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Indigenous Arts.

An opening reception will be held on Friday, April 22 from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. It will open for free to the public. A special Curator interview with Manuela Well-Off-Man, art historian and curator at the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts will take place on Saturday, April 23 at 2 p.m. to discuss this dynamic exhibition. The lecture will be included in admission to the Museum.

Fritz Scholder (Mission/Luiseño) New Mexico #40, 1966, Acrylic on canvas, 73.5″ x 51.5″

The traveling exhibition is supported by Artistic bridges. Among the six museums that will host the Action/abstraction redefined exhibit are Cahoon Museum of American Art, Barnstable, MA; Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO; Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Greensburg, Pennsylvania; Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis, MO; Aurora University Schingoethe Center, Aurora, Illinois; and Art Museum of Arkansas, Little Rock, AR.

Action/abstraction redefined was co-organized by Dr. Manuela Well-to-do manChief Curator, Institute of American Indian Arts’ Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Tatiana Lomahaftewa-singerCurator of MoCNA Collections and Associate Professor at IAIA, and Dr. Lara Evans, IAIA Associate Professor of Indigenous Art History.

Bertha Lujan (Taos), Untitled, undated, clay, enamels, 27 x 6 x 4 in., MoCNA Collection (TA-1)

Action/abstraction redefined is organized by IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Santa Fe, NM

the Action/abstraction redefined exhibition catalog is available at the museum shop. To order a copy, please email [email protected] or call 508-428-7581.

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