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Action Abstraction Redefined

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20170801172353-snh_6_001_m
Hank Gobin: (Tulalip Snohomish) Northwest Design, 1966 Casein On Paper, © MoCNA Collection SNH-6
Action Abstraction Redefined

108 Cathedral Place
87101 Santa Fe
NM
US
July 28th, 2017 - July 28th

QUICK FACTS
WEBSITE:  
http://www.iaia.edu/museum/
NEIGHBORHOOD:  
Downtown/Plaza
EMAIL:  
ashapiro@iaia.edu
PHONE:  
(505) 983-1666
OPEN HOURS:  
Mon, Wed-Sat 10-5; Sun 12-5PM; Closed on Tuesdays and major holidays

DESCRIPTION

Action Abstraction Redefined features paintings and works on paper from the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA) permanent collection created in the 1960s and 1970s. The artists in this exhibition challenged stereotypical expectations of Indian art by experimenting with American modern art movements such as Abstract Expressionism, Color Field and Hard-edge Painting combined with art influences from their own cultural heritage.

In post-World War II America, many modern artists such as Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, and Jackson Pollock found inspiration in mythology, Native art or their inner self to break away from the representation of objects in the visual world. They felt realistic perspectives and narrative conventions were no longer appropriate artistic tools to respond to the uncertain, tension-wracked atomic age. Among the Abstract Expressionists were also several Native modern artists like George Morrison (Chippewa), John Hoover (Aleut), Edna Massey (Cherokee), and Patrick Swazo Hinds (Tesuque Pueblo), who redefined the concept of abstraction by creating works informed by their own traditional aesthetics combined with art influences coming out of New York and California.

Some of these artists approached their chosen medium in a direct, intuitive and spontaneous way, and as a result their paintings and drawings are very intense and expressive. Several of their works seem to express the artist’s inner feelings and emotions. Drips, splatters, and accidental gestures are part of their compositions. Others were interested in experimenting with biomorphic shapes. Some of their drawings are characterized by fields of pure flat colors, and reflect their interest in the effect of color on human perception. Like all artists, the artists featured in this exhibition were working from their own individual experiences.

This departure helped develop a philosophy that formed an entire art education revolution for Native America. Funded through the US Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) opened in 1962 as a vocational fine arts high school for Native Americans. Modern and Native cultural aesthetics were embraced by the institution. The result of this artistic approach was an outpouring of creative expression that received regional and national attention. This exhibition includes early works by IAIA students and faculty and is a visual testimony to the Institute’s revolutionary approach to art education that sparked a cultural change within Native Art.

Artists

  • Ray Aguilar (San Felipe Pueblo)
  • Ralph Aragon (San Felipe Pueblo/Acoma Pueblo)
  • Sammy Begay (Navajo)
  • Larry (Littlebird) Bird (Santo Domingo Pueblo/Laguna Pueblo)
  • Bennet Brien (Turtle Mountain Chippewa)
  • Bennie Buffalo (Southern Cheyenne)
  • George Burdeau (Piikani)
  • Art Chischilly (Navajo)
  • Joseph L. Concha (Taos Pueblo)
  • Larry Desjarlais (Chippewa)
  • Earl Eder (Yanktonai Sioux)
  • Mary Eder (Sioux)
  • Kirby Feathers (Ponca/Sioux)
  • Anita (Luttrell) Fields (Osage/Muscogee Creek)
  • Phyllis Fife (Muscogee Creek)
  • Herman Fragua (Jemez Pueblo/Sandia Pueblo)
  • Henry (Hank) Gobin (Tulalip/Snohomish)
  • Harvey Herman (Sioux)
  • Patrick Swazo Hinds (Tesuque Pueblo)
  • John Hoover (Aleut)
  • Michael Jenkins (Inuit)
  • Ralph Robert Kniffen (San Carlos Apache/Shoshone)
  • Delores Lee (Paiute)
  • Alice Loiselle (Chippewa)
  • Linda Lucero (Jemez Pueblo)
  • Edna Massey (Cherokee)
  • Don Montileaux (Oglala Lakota)
  • George Morrison (Chippewa)
  • Courtney Moyah (White Mountain Apache/Akimel O’odham/Tohono O’odham)
  • Lloyd Kiva New (Cherokee)
  • Calvin O’John (Southern Ute)
  • Peter Sampson (Confederated Tribes of Umatilla)
  • Neil Parsons (Piikani)
  • Connie (Red Star) Price (Crow)
  • Kevin Red Star (Crow)
  • Fritz Scholder (Luiseño)
  • Gerald Stone (Seminole)
  • Jennie Trujillo (Taos Pueblo)
  • Roger Tsabetsaye (Zuni Pueblo)
  • Carl Tubby (Choctaw)
  • Judy Vicenti (Jicarilla Apache)
  • Juanita Waukazo (Chippewa)
  • Alfred Young Man (Cree)
  • Mike Medicine Horse Zillioux (Akimel O’odham/Cheyenne/Pawnee)
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