Jeffrey Gibson, an Indigenous artist, has been chosen to represent the U.S. at the 2024 Venice Biennale, marking the first time an Indigenous artist will have a solo exhibition at the event.
Historical perspective: This selection comes nearly a century after Indigenous artists last participated in the U.S. Pavilion at the Biennale in a group setting.
* The last feature of Indigenous art at the Biennale was in 1932, but it was largely a Eurocentric presentation.
About the artist: Gibson, a member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, incorporates American, Native American and queer perspectives in his work.
* He has had his work exhibited across the U.S., with collections at institutions like the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
* In 2019, Gibson participated in the Whitney Biennial and he won a MacArthur “Genius” Grant.
Significance: Choosing an Indigenous artist to represent the U.S. is a significant move to promote inclusivity in art.
* Kathleen Ash-Milby, a Navajo Nation member and a curator of Native American Art at the Portland Art Museum, said that Gibson’s art is significant because it “connects with both his culture and different communities and brings people together.”
Looking ahead: Gibson is currently working on a multimedia installation titled “the space in which to place me” for the 2024 Biennale.
* The global audience at the Biennale will mark the first major opportunity for international exposure to Gibson’s work.
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