Jeffrey Gibson, known in the art world as one of the most exciting American Indian contemporary artists, will hold his first major exhibition at the Denver Art Museum May 13-Aug. 12, 2018.
“Jeffrey Gibson: Like a Hammer,” will feature about 65 objects comprising large and mid-sized figurative works, text-based wall hangings, “a significant selection of his illustrious Everlast beaded punching bags,” painted works on rawhide and canvas, and videos, according to officials at the Denver Art Museum.
The 45-year-old, Colorado-born artist (now based in New York) “is widely recognized as a unique and influential voice in contemporary art as well as within Native American art circles, and we are eager to present his first major museum exhibition, which is bold in both color and scale,” said Christoph Heinrich, director of the Denver Art Museum, in a press statement.
“This exhibition builds on our ongoing initiative to showcase contemporary art by American Indian artists. It is also a continuation of our emphasis on organizing monographic exhibitions, exposing, and in some cases introducing, our visitors to a single artist’s creative process.”
Jeffrey Gibson’s “All Things Big and Small,” which will be part of the artist’s first major exhibition at the Denver Art Museum. (Provided by Denver Art Museum)
“Like a Hammer,” which promises to feature Gibson’s most acclaimed work, is curated by John Lukavic, associate curator of Native Arts at the Denver Art Museum. Specifically, the exhibit will “chronicle a pivotal moment in the artist’s career when his contemporary artistic practice converged with his Native American heritage,” according to the Museum.
Gibson’s works, which take inspiration from his Choctaw and Cherokee heritage as well as modernism and popular culture, incorporate materials such as rawhide, tipi poles, sterling silver, wool blankets, metal cones, beads, fringe and sinew.
“Gibson seamlessly blends indigenous aesthetics and contemporary methods,” Lukavic said in a press statement. “His work offers our visitors an experience that doesn’t exist elsewhere and challenges the generic categories of art, presenting a new way of conceptualizing what people see and experience.”
“The objects, sculptures and paintings I’ve made since 2011 document this journey of establishing my own forward-looking voice influenced by all that has come before me,” Gibson added.
The Denver Art Museum, which is known for its extensive Native American art collection, will also publish the first exhibition catalog to comprehensively detail Gibson’s career and body of work, featuring essays by leading scholars in the contemporary and American Indian art fields. It will be available at the museum starting in May 2018.
Admission to “Like a Hammer” will be included in general admission and free for members and youth 18 and under. The exhibition will be on view in the Gallagher Gallery on level 1 of the Frederic C. Hamilton Building.
By John Wenzel