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Jaune Quick-to-See Smith. Flathead Vest: Father and Child, 1996. Acrylic, paper, and newspaper on canvas, 60 × 50 in. (152.4 × 127 cm). Missoula Art Museum, Montana; gift of the artist. © Jaune Quick-to-See Smith. Photograph by Slikati Photo + Video; courtesy of the Missoula Art Museum

Jaune Quick-to-See Smith. War Horse in Babylon, 2005. Oil and acrylic on canvas, two panels: 60 × 100 in. (152.4 × 254 cm) overall. Forge Project Collection, traditional lands of the Muh-he-con-ne-ok. © Jaune Quick-to-See Smith. Photograph courtesy the artistand Garth Greenan Gallery, New York

Jaune Quick-to-See Smith. Grasp Tight the Old Ways, 2011. Oil, acrylic, paper, fabric, and charcoal on canvas, 72 × 48 in. (182.9 × 121.9 cm). Sheldon Museum of Art, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Robert E. Schweser and Fern Beardsley Schweser Acquisition Fund through the University of Nebraska Foundation U-6293.2013. © Jaune Quick-to-See Smith. Photograph courtesy the artist and Garth Greenan Gallery, New York

The Modern hosts the retrospective of Jaune Quick-to-See Smith (b. 1940, citizen of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Nation), organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art, an in-depth look at the work of a groundbreaking artist.

The largest and most comprehensive showing of her work to date, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith: Memory Map brings together nearly five decades of Smith’s drawings, prints, paintings, and sculptures. Smith engages with contemporary modes of art making, from her idiosyncratic adoption of abstraction to her reflections on American Pop art and Neo-Expressionism. These artistic traditions are incorporated and reimagined with concepts rooted in Smith’s own cultural practice, reflecting her belief that her “life’s work involves examining contemporary life in America and interpreting it through Native ideology.” Using satire and humor, Smith’s art tells stories that subvert commonly held conceptions of historical narratives and illuminate absurdities in the formation of dominant culture. Smith’s approach blurs traditional categories and questions why certain visual languages attain recognition, historical privilege, and value.

Across decades and mediums, Smith has deployed and reappropriated ideas of mapping, history, and environmentalism while incorporating personal and collective memories. The retrospective offers new frameworks in which to consider contemporary Native American art and shows how Smith has led and initiated some of the most pressing dialogues surrounding land, racism, and cultural preservation—issues at the forefront of contemporary life and art today.

This exhibition is organized by Laura Phipps, Associate Curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art, with Caitlin Chaisson, Curatorial Project Assistant. The presentation at the Modern is organized by Curator Alison Hearst.

Jaune Quick-to-See Smith. McFlag, 1996. Oil, paper, and newspaper on canvas with speakers and electrical cord, three parts: 60 × 100 in. (152.4 × 254 cm) overall. Tia Collection. Fabricated by Neal Ambrose-Smith. © Jaune Quick-to-See Smith. Photograph courtesy the artist and Garth Greenan Gallery, New York

Jaune Quick-to-See Smith. Survival Suite: Nature/Medicine, 1996. Lithograph with chine-collé. 36 1/8 × 24 13/16 in. (91.8 × 63 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Joe and Barb Zanatta Family in honor of Jaune Quick-to-See Smith 2003.28.3. Printed by Lawrence Lithography Workshop, Kansas City, Missouri. Published by Zanatta Editions, Shawnee Kansas.© Jaune Quick-to-See Smith. Photo courtesy Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

Bailey Powell Aldrich

A seventh generation Texan, Aldrich returned home to her roots in 2022 to work alongside her father, Keith, and take over the family business of publishing Fort Worth Key Magazine.

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