Yoram Wolberger, Red Indian Chief, 2005.
91 1/2 x 76 3/4 x 19 1/4 inches, Reinforced fiberglass composite
via Art-Agenda,The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum / Mark Moore Gallery:
No Reservations: Native American History and Culture in Contemporary Art
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
258 Main Street, Ridgefield, CT 06877
T: 203-438-4519 F: 203-438-0198
August 23, 2006 to February 25, 2007
Opening reception Sunday, October 15, from 3 - 6 pm
In the first decade of the twenty-first century, census figures attest that more and more Americans are identifying themselves as Native American. With the populace claiming Native ancestry growing three times as fast as the population as a whole, Native people are one of the fastest-growing minority groups in the United States.
Recognizing its location in an area steeped in Native lore, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum is pleased to announce the exhibition No Reservations: Native American History and Culture in Contemporary Art, which will be on view from August 23, 2006, to February 25, 2007. Curated by Aldrich director of exhibitions Richard Klein and funded by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation, and LEF Foundation, this large-scale group exhibition looks at artists whose work deals with both the deep cultural legacies and complex histories of Native peoples in the United States. The project challenges preconceived ideas of what form Native-influenced work can take.
Significantly, the exhibition includes work by both Native and non-Native artists, but will present only artists who engage the larger contemporary art world, as opposed to those attempting to maintain strict Native artistic traditions. No Reservations is based on the premise that the influence of Native culture and history is pervasive and has acted as inspiration for a diverse group of artists, resulting in work that explores the topic from multiple vantage points.
The ten artists in the exhibition are Matthew Buckingham, Lewis deSoto, Peter Edlund, Nicholas Galanin, Jeffrey Gibson, Rigo 23, Duane Slick, Marie Watt, Edie Winograde and Yoram Wolberger. All of the artists are of a generation that has come of age since the initial Native Rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s, with their work acknowledging the past, while integrating the influences of the modern world and global culture. Much of the work considered for the exhibition does not look "Indian," but rather incorporates Native content in surprising and innovative ways that defy easy categorization, like the work of Israeli born artist Yoram Wolberger. Stereotypes and commercialization of the Native American are explored in Wolberger's work through vibrant red and blue molded plastic figures of children's toys replicating cowboys and Indians holding bows, arrows and spears poised for combat. In his series entitled Cowboys & Indians, Wolberger drastically increases the s cale of small, cheap, disposable toys to larger-than-life status, dramatically altering the viewer's relationship with the familiar iconography of American childhood. In doing so, Wolberger's sculptures ask specific questions regarding how the objects we give our children comment on American culture as a whole.
The implication of organizing No Reservations on the East Coast, and particularly in Connecticut, is also important and wide-ranging. The Aldrich is located in a region where European colonization initiated the first truly organized genocide of Native peoples. The Pequot, of eastern Connecticut, were the first tribal group living in the land that would become the United States to be systematically eliminated. This history, combined with the rebirth and economic success of the Pequot nation in the last 25 years, creates a significant social and political landscape in which to present this exhibition.
Direct transportation from New York is available. Please call 203-438-4519 to reserve a seat.
For more information on Yoram Wolberger, please contact:
Mark Moore Gallery