One of the most innovative and powerful artists of her generation, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith (b. 1940, citizen of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Nation) has broken barriers and forged new paths for contemporary American art. This exhibition—the largest and most comprehensive showing of her work to date—brings together over five decades of Smith’s paintings, prints, drawings, and sculptures in an immersive journey through her singular blend of modern art strategies and Indigenous cultural practices.
Smith’s work engages the languages of abstraction, expressionism, and Pop Art to interrogate American life and identity from a Native perspective. Through humor and satire, she inverts historical narratives to expose the absurdities in the formation of dominant discourses and question why certain visual languages are valued over others. Across decades and mediums, her approach blurs boundaries and activates images and ideas culled from history, mapping, environmentalism, popular culture, and mass media. Her impact—visible not only in her artwork but also in her activism and her curatorial practice—has positioned contemporary Native American art at the center of today’s critical dialogues around land, social justice, preservation, and sustainability.
Image: Memory Map, 2000, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, oil, acrylic, and paper on canvas, 36 × 48 in., OZ Art NWA, Bentonville, Arkansas, © Jaune Quick-to-See Smith