Kindred Spirits, Native American Influences on 20th Century Art

October 29, 2011 – January 28, 2012
at Peter Blum SoHo

See Why Bruce Nauman and Jackson Pollock Are Thankful for Native American Art

November 24, 2011

WHAT: “Kindred Spirits: Native American Influences on 20th Century Art”

WHEN: Through January 14, Tuesday-Friday 10AM-6PM, Saturday 11AM-6PM

WHERE: Peter Blum Soho, 99 Wooster St., New York

WHY THIS SHOW MATTERS: Peter Blum’s current exhibition, “Kindred Spirits: Native American Influences on 20th Century Art,” focuses on a single subject, which could be touchy, but is handled with good taste: how modern artists found inspiration in the American landscape and Native American arts and crafts. The show pairs works from the Apache, Arapaho, Hopi, and Sioux tribes, among others, with the modern works of Max Ernst, Georgia O’Keeffe, Jackson Pollock, Bruce Nauman, and others.

For instance, Ernst’s bleeding burnt sienna sunset "Arizona Rouge" is paired with a deep and arresting red and black diamond patterned Navajo (Diné) wool serape. Ansel Adams and Paul Strand capture the Southwest skies at moonrise and high noon, documenting the architecture and isolation of homesteads in the wide plains. Josef Albers’s minimal “Homage to the Square” seems inspired by the color palate of indigenous pottery. The substantial cohort of artists who positioned themselves in the American Southwest — or perhaps just looked to the artwork of the continent’s original inhabitants for inspiration — found inspiration in this county’s real old masters.