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The Old Becomes the New: New York Movement in Contemporary Native Art and the New York School, an historical survey exhibition of twenty three contemporary Native American artists living and working in New York City (1943-2013) together with five highly seminal artists of the New York School. This is the first exhibition revealing the historical relationship between the New York School and the evolution of Native modernism.
The exhibition highlights a comprehensive selection of distinguished Native American artists, all members of the New York Contemporary Native American Arts Movement; one of the lesser known Native Arts movements in the United States outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico, that is urban based. A select few of these artists were directly influenced by abstract expressionism, the New York School and, to a lesser extent, Pop art.
Succeeding generations of Native artists continued some of the visual languages and sensibilities of their progenitors. Some used abstract-expressionist language and modernist language, as well as other visual references particular to their own traditions or self-expression. They produced work that was grandly diverse, sometimes reflecting the urban environment in which they found themselves. Some of the New York School artists in the show, who were themselves influenced by traditional Native American design aesthetic; who then influenced contemporary Native artists, in some cases personally are Roy Lichtenstein, Jackson Pollock, Robert Rauschenberg, Theodoros Stamos and Esteban Vicente.
Although he always proudly shared his Native heritage, The Rauschenberg Foundation has confirmed that this is the first Contemporary Native show where the late Mr. Rauschenberg’s work has been included.
“Although The Old Become The New: The New York Contemporary Native Art Movement and The New York School, curated by David Bunn Martine, is a show that, in a more expanded format, would hold its own at MoMA, the Whitney or the Met, we encounter this work instead, solidly self defined by venue, community and stories.” – Review by Patrick Brennan for Resolve40.com.