Review

Dyani White Hawk: Speaking to Relatives, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO, 18 February–16 May 2021. Catalogue: Ed. Jennifer Doyle, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, 2021, 78 pages, paperback, ISBN 9780996272889, $36.00.

Author: Glynnis Stevenson (UCL)

  • Dyani White Hawk: Speaking to Relatives, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO, 18 February–16 May 2021. Catalogue: Ed. Jennifer Doyle, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, 2021, 78 pages, paperback, ISBN 9780996272889, $36.00.

    Review

    Dyani White Hawk: Speaking to Relatives, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO, 18 February–16 May 2021. Catalogue: Ed. Jennifer Doyle, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, 2021, 78 pages, paperback, ISBN 9780996272889, $36.00.

    Author:

Abstract

This review looks at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art’s tribute to the past decade of artwork by Dyani White Hawk, a curator and multimedia artist of Sičáŋǧu Lakota, German and Welsh ancestry. The exhibition entrance sits directly across from Sean Scully’s The Moroccan (1984), positioning White Hawk’s work as a commentary on the Euro-American appropriation of non-white aesthetics. See for example, her canvas Untitled (coral, turquoise, and yellow) (2016), which embeds intricate rows of blue and yellow beads within bands of orange and red paint that evoke colour field painting. White Hawk receives pride of place in the museum’s main exhibition space, a series of four rooms showcasing the artist’s skill in many media: acrylic painting, beadwork, video, and photography. She layers and leverages Indigenous motifs amidst those associated with Euro-American artists. The exhibition tackles the debate over the false binary of art vs. craft and the centrality of indigenous women to Native American communities; the exhibition tackles the former deftly, the latter feels less fully explored.

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Published on
01 Feb 2022