Big names in contemporary Native American art celebrate life

The big names in contemporary Native American art are exhibiting at the ORENDA gallery from October 21 to November 20, 2021. In this return to the end of the pandemic, the gallery pays tribute to the creativity of contemporary Native American artists. North. Those who are true to their roots but feel free to break with repetitive authenticity. Those who, in their works, celebrate life.

Most of them are artists from the West. Many were trained or supported by the remarkable School of Fine Arts of Santa Fe, the Institute of American Indian Arts. Like Georgia O’Keeffe, these Native artists, in their color palette, captured the primordial solar intensity of the deserts of New Mexico.
These large spaces of light are, in their works, punctuated by the pounding of the steps of the dancers celebrating their belonging to the earth.

© Brenda KINGERY, dance

A retrospective exhibition, a unique opportunity to feel the beating heart of Indian America

It brings together “historical” painters who are already part of prestigious museum collections, including Brenda Kingery (Chickasaw), currently on display at the Cahoon Museum in Cape Cod (Massachusetts), and recent visual works by writer and artist N. Scott Momaday (Pulitzer Prize), including a striking portrait of Georgia O’Keeffe, whom he knew.

Many artists gained notoriety in the 1980s / 90s, such as Kevin Red Star (Crow), Darren Vigil Gray (Apache), David Bradley (Chippewa), Matteo Romero (Pueblo) and Tony Abeyta (Navajo). Today they are part of the history of Amerindian art. At their side are presented young avant-garde talents like Cristal Worl (Inuit), Sonia Kelliher-Combs (Inupiaq / Athapascan) and the young factor of Kachinas Justin Lomatewana (Hopi).

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© David BRADLEY, General Custer and the Indians

The Far North is also present, represented by its sculptors: glass sculpture with the diaphanous works of Preston Singletary (Tlingit) and woodcarving from Alaska, with one of its most respected masters Larry Ahvakana (Inupiaq) and the astonishing Perry Eaton (Sugpiag / Alutiiq), spontaneous ambassador of the sculptural traditions of Kodiak Island, who has greatly contributed to strengthening artistic cooperation with France. Both are spectacular mask sculptors and actively contribute to artistic renewal in the arctic world.

Big names in contemporary Native American art celebrate life
© Laurence AHVAKANA, the Black Wolf mask

Note that women, in recent decades, have entered the field of sculpture, traditionally reserved for men. We can discover in particular an unusual mask of very good quality sculpted by the artist Rebecca Lyon in tribute to Jean Malaurie, defender of the Inuit. Works by these three sculptors are part of the remarkable arctic collection of the Château-musée de Boulogne-sur-mer.

These artists are united by a desire for powerful identity affirmation, their determination to dance life (Mateo Romero, Brenda Kingery), to transcend the past through humor or the reinvention of mythology.

Thus the famous Harry Fonseca (Maidu) plays, with his facetious coyotes, on the theme of the trickster, pan-Indian mythological figure, who shakes up destinies. And David Bradley, whose masterful work reinvents history by making it Indian, offers us the gentleness of his Madonna of the Pueblos and paints a caustic portrait of the arrogant General Custer, nicknamed “killer of squaws”, defeated by the Indians. at The Battle of Little Big Horn.

Exhibition from October 21 to November 20, 2021 at the Orenda Gallery, 54 rue de Veneuil, 75007 Paris
Opening hours: Wednesday to Saturday, 2:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday by appointment.

Header Image : Mateo ROMERO, Fire

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Big names in contemporary Native American art celebrate life