First American Art Magazine No. 21, Winter 2018/19 - Page 78

REVIEWS familiar with Native American art, is the generational ties among many of the artists to other known artistic masters. For instance, as previously mentioned, Vanessa Jennings is the granddaughter of Kiowa Six artist Stephen Mopope. Additionally, Gilbert Benjamin Atencio (San Ildefonso) and Tony Da (San Ildefonso) are the nephew and grandson respectively of San Ildefonso Pueblo artists Maria and Julian Martinez. Painters Tonita Peña (San Ildefonso) and Joe Herrera (Cochiti-San Ildefonso) are mother and son, and Raymond Naha (Hopi-Tewa) is a member of the extended Nampeyo family. The premise of the show—arranging works by institutional influences—is interesting and allows the viewer to experience the works in a new way, drawing new comparisons between styles when seen together. However, since all of these are works solely from the collections of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, it makes the blanket title of “20th Century Masters” problematic since one could argue that many “masters” are not represented in their collections or were chosen not to be incorporated into this show. Additionally, the word “masters” draws on European (and therefore, colonial) terminology. What are the criteria for one to be considered a master of Native American art? The exhibition will remain on view until May 12, 2019. —Mariah Ashbacher SANTA FE SITElines.2018: Casa tomada SITE Santa Fe O N VIEW through January 6, 2019, Casa tomada (House Taken Over) marks the conclusion of a trio of SITE Santa Fe biennials, “New Perspectives on Art of the Americas.” Focused on the Western Hemisphere, this series of exhibitions (2014, 2016, and 2018) confronts conceptions of multinational and Indigenous identities, social and political borders as boundaries for inclusion and exclusion, and intersections between cultural epistemologies and visual representations. This year, curators José Luis Blondet, Candice Hopkins (Carcross/Tagish), and Ruba Katrib, with Naomi Beckwith as curatorial advisor, opted to feature 23 artists with ten commissions. This differs from larger groups of artists shown in the previous biennials, but as Katrib said, “It’s a small show with big ideas.” 1 The commissions include new work by Melissa Cody (Diné), Eric-Paul Riege (Diné), Hock E Aye Vi Edgar Heap of Birds (Southern Cheyenne), and Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun (Coast Salish-Okanagan). The exhibition also generously features 13 two-dimensional works by Victoria Mamnguqsualuk (Inuk, 1930–2016,) and five stone sculptures by Jamasee Pitseolak (Inuk). In Casa tomada, the artists received ample space to support large-scale installations. The exhibition’s layout comes across as a layered display of vignettes that provide multifaceted interpretations of rhetoric. During a walk-through, Hopkins explained that Beckwith steered the curatorial team’s methodology to develop through a focus on language. 2 This strategy reveals itself in the words, imagery, and gestures in the two- and three-dimensional and performative 1. The preview events took place on August 1 and 2, 2018. The biennial opened to the public on August 3, 2018. 2. Press preview walk-through, SITE Santa Fe, August 1, 2018. 76 | WWW.FIRSTAMERICANARTMAGAZINE.COM