Remembering the Future: 100 Years of Inspiring Art showcases painting and sculpture produced by leading American Indian artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. Each work in the exhibition draws from the Heard Museum’s permanent collection and reflects an artistic response to the challenges and opportunities presented by the decade in which it was created. Select works include Oscar Howe’s response to the massacre at Wounded Knee in the painting Ghost Dance (1960), T.C. Cannon’s response to the Vietnam War in the lithograph On Drinkin’ Beer in Vietnam in 1967 (1971), and responses to environmental crises evident in Bob Haozous’ sculpture Ozone Madonna (1989) and Jaune Quick-to-See Smith’s painting Rain (1990).
Work is contextualized further within important artistic movements, such as Awa Tsireh’s paintings from 1917 through the 1920s that sparked the San Ildefonso Watercolor Movement or the numerous students─Fred Kabotie, Tonita Peña, Gerald Nailor, Allan Houser—who attended Dorothy Dunn’s Studio School in Santa Fe in the 1920s. Central to the New York Contemporary Native American Art Movement are the midcentury paintings of George Morrison. Some of the artists who fostered important artistic developments from the 1970s onward include Joe Herrera, Fritz Scholder, Helen Hardin, James Lavadour, Kay WalkingStick, Roxanne Swentzell, Tanya Lukin Linklater and Kent Monkman.
Presented in the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Grand Gallery, the exhibition presents viewers with a progression of ideas and aesthetic expressions by the renowned artists mentioned here and many more. Remembering the Future is a visual testament to 100 years of artistic production. The span of one century is meant to convey with meaningful depth of perspective and certitude that in remembering the history of American Indian art, we are also remembering the future.