Before and after the Horizon: Anishinaabe Artists of the Great Lakes

August 10, 2013–June 15, 2014
New York, NY

Juxtaposing more than one hundred contemporary and modern works with historic, ancestral objects revealing the stories, experiences, and histories of Anishinaabe life in the Great Lakes region, Before and after the Horizon: Anishinaabe Artists of the Great Lakes features works by modern masters such as Norval Morrisseau, George Morrison, Blake Debassige, Daphne Odjig, and others, who, each in their own way, sought visual expression for the spiritual and social dimensions of human relations with the earth. These same sources of inspiration are visible in traditional Anishinaabe arts, such as dodem or clan pictographs on treaty documents; bags embroidered with porcupine quills; painted drums; and carved pipes, spoons, and bowls. The continuity of Anishinaabe art emphasizes traditional Anishinaabe spiritual perceptions that are very much part of Anishinaabe identity today. The exhibition provides visitors with an understanding of the Anishinaabe as contemporary citizens of North America with deep indigenous roots in the traditional Anishinaabe homeland of the Great Lakes.

Blake Debassige (Ojibwa), b. 1956. One Who Lives under the Water, ca.1978. Acrylic on canvas, 127 x 96.5 cm. On loan from the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada. Photo courtesy of Blake Debassige. Photo by Brian Boyle © 2011 Royal Ontario Museum.
Potawatomi, maker unknown. Sleeve bag, ca. 1880. Wool, cotton, glass beads, metal fasteners, mother-of-pearl buttons, thread, 50.1 x 23.5 x .5 cm. Gift of Mrs. Thea Heye. NMAI 10/6149. Photo by R.A. Whiteside, NMAI.
Ojibwa, maker unknown. Wall pocket, late 1800s. Birchbark, porcupine quills, vegetal fiber, thread, 37.3 x 14 cm. NMAI 25/0441. Photo by R.A. Whiteside, NMAI.
Frank Shebageget (Anishnabe), b. 1972. Beavers, 2003. Basswood and metal, 142.2 x 243.8 x 152.4 cm. Collection of the Ottawa Art Gallery: Purchased with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts Acquisition Assistance Program, Glen Bloom and OAG’s Acquisition Endowment Fund, 2005. Photo courtesy of the Ottawa Art Gallery, reproduced with permission of Frank Shebageget. Photo by David Barbour.
Frank Shebageget (Anishnabe), b. 1972. Beavers, 2003. Basswood and metal, 142.2 x 243.8 x 152.4 cm. Collection of the Ottawa Art Gallery: Purchased with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts Acquisition Assistance Program, Glen Bloom and OAG’s Acquisition Endowment Fund, 2005. Photo courtesy of the Ottawa Art Gallery, reproduced with permission of Frank Shebageget. Photo by David Barbour.
Odawa or Ojibwa, maker unknown. Mat, 1775–1800. Deerskin, porcupine quills, dyes, 105 x 86.8 cm. Gift of Daniel Carter Beard. NMAI 14/3269. Photo by R.A. Whiteside, NMAI.
Robert Houle (Saulteaux), b. 1947. Parfleche for Norval Morrisseau, 1999. Oil on canvas 100 x 50 cm. NMAI 26/9030. Photo courtesy of Robert Houle. Photo by R.A. Whiteside, NMAI.
Bonnie Devine (Ojibwa), b. 1952. Letter to William, 2008. Giclée print, graphite, and cotton thread on paper, 61 x 182.9 cm. NMAI 26/9026. Photo courtesy of the artist. Photo by R.A. Whiteside, NMAI.
Patrick DesJarlait (Ojibwe), 1921–1972. Maple Sugar Time, 1946. Watercolor on paper, 38.7 x 51.4 cm. Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, museum purchase. Photo © 2013, Philbrook Museum of Art, Inc., Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Odawa, maker unknown. Tabernacle and candlesticks, 1840. Wood, birchbark, porcupine quills, fiber. Tabernacle, 69 x 33.5 x 50 cm; candlesticks, 34.9 cm and 50.2 cm high. Weltmuseum Wien. Photo courtesy of the Weltmuseum Wien.
Chippewa, maker unknown. Leggings, ca. 1885–1900. Cotton velveteen, polished cotton, glass beads, wool twill, 75.6 x 28.3 x 1.6 cm. Collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts. Photo courtesy of the Detroit Institute of Arts/Bridgeman Art Library.
Chippewa, maker unknown. Drum, ca. 1840. Wood, deerhide, pigment, 53.3 x 52.7 x 7.6 cm. Collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts. Photo courtesy of the Detroit Institute of Arts/The Bridgeman Art Library.
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