Contemporary Native American Art in Cultural and Historical Contexts
Fall 2015 quarter
This program will examine the work of Indigenous artists in North America who have helped define the Contemporary Native American Art Movement since the 1960s and will trace the movement’s evolution through 2015. Beginning with an examination of works by seminal artists like Alan Houser, Oscar Howe, Fritz Scholder, and Helen Hardin, who transformed American Indian art, students will explore the way that these artists and the Indigenous artists who came after them became an innovative force that redefined the place of American Indian/First Nations artists in the global art world. We will analyze the way these various generations of artists have created movements in the Americas that have challenged anthropological and colonial paradigms that define aesthetically exquisite objects made by Indigenous peoples as artifacts to be studied in an ethnographic context rather than as works of fine art. We will look at the way the art/craft divide in European and American settler art discourse has affected the way Indigenous art has been defined. Through detailed analyses, students will critically reflect on not only the aesthetic principles inherent in Indigenous artwork, but also on the historical and cultural contexts which inform the artists of the Contemporary Native American Art Movement. Finally, students will learn how to look at, interpret, understand, and write about the works of contemporary Indigenous artists in the United States and Canada.
Fields of Study
Preparatory for studies or careers in
Location and Schedule
Offered during: Day