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11 Oct 2003 - 25 Jan 2021
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Exhibitions in New York

Will Wilson: Auto Immune Response
May 6, 2006–September 24, 2006
George Gustav Heye Center, New York

As a photographer and installation artist, Will Wilson (Diné/Bilagaana, b. 1969) creates a deliberate counter narrative to romantic visions of Native people living in an unchanging past. Though born in San Francisco, he draws inspiration from the many years he spent living on the Navajo Reservation as a child.
In Auto Immune Response, Wilson offers a powerful vision of a postapocalyptic future. This imagined environment includes comforting symbols of cultural persistence, such as a hogan (a traditional Navajo dwelling), coexisting with computers, wires, and futuristic furnishings. By constructing a steel hogan in the gallery, Wilson transforms the visitor from observer to participant. Enveloped by the artist's landscape, we are asked to consider our own place in the universe and, as exhibition curator Joe Baker from the Heard Museum states, "the complex environmental and social issues that are a consequence of contemporary society."
Will Wilson: Auto Immune Response was organized by the Heard Museum, Phoenix, Arizona, and curated by Joe Baker (Delaware Tribe of Indians), Lloyd Kiva New Curator of Fine Art.
Will Wilson, Auto Immune Response #5 (detail), 2004. Archival inkjet print, 112 x 277 cm. Collection of the artist.

Virgil Ortiz: La Renaissance Indigène
May 6, 2006–September 24, 2006
George Gustav Heye Center, New York

Virgil Ortiz (Cochiti Pueblo, b. 1969) is an artist whose work defies easy definition. He is a ceramicist, sculptor, jeweler, painter, fashion designer, trendsetter, and provocateur. Situated between the traditions of his Native community and the expansive frontier of the international art world, Ortiz's work is personal, electric, and audacious.
Ortiz, who began making pottery with his family at the age of six, has adapted the artistic techniques and principles of Cochiti traditions to his innovative multimedia works. By adding provocative details to his figures, Ortiz continues Cochiti's use of figurative pottery as social critique. The artist's signature calligraphic style, use of diverse textures and media, and uninhibited approach to contemporary subjects are magnified in this new body of work, including ceramics and his first couture fashion collection.
Virgil Ortiz: La Renaissance Indigène was organized by the Heard Museum, Phoenix, Arizona, and curated by Joe Baker (Delaware Tribe of Indians), Lloyd Kiva New Curator of Fine Art.
Virgil Ortiz, Master & 2 Tics (detail), 2002. Cochiti red clay, white clay slip, red clay slip, black (wild spinach) paint, 69 x 38 x 30 cm. Collection of Bob and Cyndy Gallegos. Photo by Chad Tanner.
Arctic Transformations: The Jewelry of Denise and Samuel Wallace
March 2, 2006–July 23, 2006
George Gustav Heye Center, New York

This 25-year retrospective of jewelry artists Denise and Samuel Wallace includes 150 works created from silver, gold, fossil ivory and semiprecious stones and features 16 intricately crafted belts from early in the artists' career. The elaborate pieces refer to traditional images from Denise Wallace's Chugach Aleut heritage as well as contemporary issues and sources.
Deer Dancer pin/pendant, 2002. Petrified whale bone, chrysoprase, sterling silver, fossil ivory, gold; height 3.5 in. Collection of Ruth and William Brooks.

Born of Clay: Ceramics from the National Museum of the American Indian
November 5, 2005–May 30, 2007
George Gustav Heye Center, New York

Indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere have been making pottery for thousands of years, and for many Native people ceramics maintain a sense of profound meaning and purpose. The 301 remarkable pieces in this exhibition span 5,000 years and four distinct regions�the Andes, eastern North America, Mesoamerica, and the southwestern United States. These clay creations are explored as the products of ongoing, complex societies and individual artistry.
Born of Clay includes the ideas of eight potters from the four regions. These contemporary artists tell us that despite differences in the composition, form, and decoration of pottery, Native potters share respect for ancestral traditions, a belief in the sacredness of clay, and an appreciation for the changing use of ceramics. Their voices reveal stories of continuity and change across millennia.
Jaina-style Maya figure of the ruler Halach Huinik, AD 400–800. Campeche, Mexico. Molded and painted ceramic. 23/2216. Photo by NMAI Photo Services.

First American Art: The Charles and Valerie Diker Collection of American Indian Art
April 24, 2004–May 29, 2006
George Gustav Heye Center, New York

In First American Art: The Charles and Valerie Diker Collection of American Indian Art, the National Museum of the American Indian is privileged to explore the powerful aesthetic traditions of Native Americans through the extraordinary collection of New Yorkers Charles and Valerie Diker. This exhibition is the collaborative product of a group of Native and non-Native artists, art historians, critics, writers, and anthropologists from NMAI and across North America who gathered to discuss a new paradigm for the articulation of Native American art.
Exhibition curators Bruce Bernstein and Gerald McMaster (Plains Cree and member of the Siksika Nation) describe the group's development of the exhibition in this way: "Through our conversations, we arrived at seven principles that guided us in appreciating the breathtaking range of beautiful objects in the Dikers' collection: idea, emotion, intimacy, movement, integrity, vocabulary, and composition. Instead of organizing this exhibition around artistic regions or object type, we used these seven principles to guide our curatorial vision. We hope they will help visitors to understand these objects as true works of art as well as significant cultural objects."
Rattle, c. 1780, artist unknown, Tsimshian. Wood, hair, bone, nails, pigment, sinew, rattling materials, 37 x 20 x 14 cm. Coin bowl, c. 1820, Lapulimeu, Chumash. Dyed and undyed juncus stems, 18 x 47 cm.
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