Sunday, June 2, 2013


                                                             National Academy Museum
                                                            1083 Fifth Avenue  New York

Updating the concept of native art, Jeffrey Gibson, the first artist in the National Academy Museum's Emerging Artists Spotlight series, creates geometric abstract paintings and sculptures using Native American and modernist influences.  Mining a mash-up of everything from 19th-century Iroquois beadwork to 1990's club culture, he creates an intriguing discourse on the notions of identity and post-identity in comtemporary culture.

Even the show's clever title, "Said the Pigeon to the Squirrel", playfully nods to the concept of indigenous folklores by suggesting a dialogue between two urban animals as characters in a modern creation myth.  Drawing on his Choctaw/Cherokee heritage, Gibson reflects on his layered ID with a patchwork of modern and traditional elements.

While today woven Native American textiles are making a reappearance on the racks of trendy boutiques, Gibson's work supercedes trends.  In his pieces, everyday objects - mirrors, punching bags, ironing boards - are transformed into subjects of unusual expression.  One highlight includes an impressive 20-foot travois, or traditional frame structure consisting of two tipi poles used by indigenous people to transport goods.  Likewise, Gibson is transporting a message.


Article from New York Magazine, June 2013

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