|Fritz Scholder GalleryStar Wallowing Bull: Mechanistic Renderings
January 24 – July 31, 2015
Featuring recent paintings and drawings, and a selection of new works, this exhibition will reveal Wallowing Bull’s evolving aesthetic, one that reflects a growing mechanical sensibility of both form and style. Wallowing Bull is recognized for his signature color pencil drawings on paper that investigate the intersection of Native American and contemporary pop culture. Stylistically abstract and semi-autobiographical, these intricately crafted compositions are defined by a dense network of line and form that animate the shallow picture plane. Recently, the Ojibwe-Arapahoe artist has been making acrylic on canvas paintings; certain of his pieces reflect the influence of Pop artist James Rosenquist who became a mentor to Wallowing Bull in 2005.
The mechanical aspects of things – how things work – have increasingly fascinated Wallowing Bull. His paintings and drawings depict figures, sometimes robot-like, and objects that often show the internal structure of their making – the literal and metaphorical cogs and wheels. Some works directly depict bundles of colorful electrical wires, common tools, energy sources or their machine-like elements. Although unintentional, Wallowing Bull’s style is reminiscent of early 20th Century artists such as Ferdinand Leger and the Italian Futurists.
About the artist: Star Wallowing Bull is Ojibwe-Arapahoe and a member of the White Earth Nation in Minnesota. He has lived in the Fargo, ND – Moorhead, MN area since 2001. He has received numerous awards including the prestigious 2010 Bush Foundation Artist Fellowship and a 2001 Native Artist Fellowship from the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution. Wallowing Bull’s work is found in the collections of the Tweed Museum of Art, Duluth; The British Museum, London; and the Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, among others.
Chris Pappan: Account Past Due, Ledger Art and Beyond
January 24 – July 31, 2015
This exhibition, a mix of new and recent works, includes drawings and paintings in Chris Pappan’s signature style of contemporary ledger art. The mid 1800’s saw the unprecedented expansion of the American empire, and with it, catastrophic changes for indigenous people. Beginning in the 1860s, paper was introduced to the plains via ledger books and was quickly adapted for the visual recording of the tumultuous times of the people of the plains. Pappan continues the tradition by portraying a skewed vision of the past while commenting on the present with his series, 21st Century Ledger Drawing. While he draws and paints realistically, his figures are often deliberately distorted as a metaphor for the ways in which perceptions of Native peoples are distorted in mainstream media and popular culture both now and in the past. With figures and portraits both mythological and based in historic fact, Pappan’s works speak to the problematic idea of an open territory ready for conquest, and juxtaposes this with portraits of the Native people who continue to persevere, thrive, and endure in these territories.
About the artist: Of Kaw, Osage, Cheyenne River Sioux heritage, Chris Pappan is a self-described Native American Lowbrow artist based in Chicago. His work is in the collections of the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.; Spencer Museum of Art, Lawrence, Kansas; Mitchell Museum of the American Indian, Evanston, Illinois; The Schingoethe Center for Native American Cultures in Aurora, Illinois; and in private collections internationally.
War Department: Selections from MoCNA’s Permanent Collection
Guest Curator: Dr. Lara Evans
January 24 – July 31, 2015
All of the works in this exhibition have something to do with war, but depict very little gore or physical violence. The armed conflicts referenced in these artworks span 500 years, from the Spanish/Pueblo conquest, to World War II, Vietnam, Wounded Knee, the Mohawk/Oka Crisis, and present-day conflicts. This selection of works from the permanent collection examines the nuanced depictions of war and civil unrest in contemporary Native art. We tend to think of war as a separate category, a separate “department.” Most of the works break the artificial separations between war and not-war. Soldiers are embedded in daily life, with family and friends, ceremony, policies and politics. These artists show us ways in which wars spill outside warzone boundaries, decades and even hundreds of years later. The lasting impacts of war and civil unrest are not decided by government officials in offices, but by the stories we tell and how we tell them, long after the War Department is disbanded. Note: The U.S. Department of War ceased operation in 1947, replaced by the Department of Defense and restructuring of the military branches.
Artists include: Shawn Bluejacket (Shawnee); T.C. Cannon (Caddo/Kiowa); David Neel (Kwakwaka’wakw); Dorothy Grandbois (Turtle Mountain Chippewa); Jean Lamarr (Paiute/Pitt river); Jack Malotte (Shoshone); Geronima Montoya (Ohkay Owingeh); Teresa Quintana (Kiowa); Heidi E. BigKnife (Shawnee); Mateo Romero (Cochiti Pueblo); Floyd Solomon (Laguna/Zuni); Charlene Teters (Spokane); Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie (Navajo/Seminole); Marie K. Watt (Seneca); Melanie Yazzie (Navajo); and Alfred Young Man (Cree)
Click here for information on the Permanent Collection of the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts
About the Curator: Lara M. Evans, PhD (Cherokee Nation), is Associate Professor of Native American art history in the Museum Studies Department at the Institute of American Indians Arts. Evans co-edited the bookArt in Our Lives: Native Women Artists in Dialogue (SAR Press, 2010)and has contributed chapters to the edited publications Action and Agency: Advancing the Dialogue of Native Performance Art (Denver Art Museum, 2010) and Manifestations: New Native Art Criticism (Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, 2012). Evans is also a practicing artist, primarily working in painting and drawing.
Mihio Manus: Heavy Volume, Small Spaces
Dec. 2014- March 31, 2015
Mihio Manus documents the music scenes on the Reservation and the border towns of the Navajo Nation. Hardcore, punk, heavy metal, black metal, noise, and other forms of experimental music are his subject. Many of the bands aren’t signed to major labels, but they have galvanized a dedicated community of musicians, venues and audiences scattered in small pockets across the southwest. This exhibition of Manus’s photographs, taken over the course of a decade, is testament to his dedication to these music scenes. “One of my initial inspirations to learn photography was so that I could go to the punk shows and take pictures of the bands and people there. I found those types of events fascinating and loved punk and hardcore music. This guided me in college to study photography and journalism. I’ve heard many artists liken the tools of their craft to extensions of their bodies and minds. In many ways, I believe this to be true. Photography has become a part of my life ever since I learned to use a camera and load film.”
Along with photographs, included in the exhibition are listening stations featuring an album by Navajo Nation-based electronic music duo, The Discotays; a solo release by Gallup-based experimental musician Ryan Dennison; and a cassette by Albuquerque/Los Angeles/Bushwick-based veteran noise trio KILT (Raven Chacon, Bob Bellerue, and Sandor Finta).
About the Artist: Mihio Manus (Navajo/Omaha/Cherokee) is a photographer from Chinle, Arizona. As a sophomore at Chinle High School, he learned black and white photography. At this time, film was the standard so he learned all the ins and outs of shooting 35mm black and white film. Manus’s work has been included in Through the Lens: Dine Photographers, Navajo Nation Museum and Heard Museum; The New Native Photography at New Mexico Museum of Art, and Present Tense: Navajo Photographers in New Mexico at the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Photography from Northern Arizona University. He currently lives in Maricopa, Arizona and works as a photojournalist for a local Tribal newspaper, the Ak-Chin Runner. His clans are To’di’chii’ni born for Tsin’sikaadnii.