On Tuesday, November 8, 2022, Joseph Gallivan interviews Kathleen Ash-Milby about “Dakota Modern: The Art of Oscar Howe” which is on now at the Portland Art Museum through May 14, 2023. Ash-Milby is the curator of Native American Art at the Portland Art Museum, and she talks about Howe’s career from Indian boarding schools in the 1930s to his mastery of cubism, surrealism and abstract expressionism, all the service of narratives from Dakota culture.
This interview was recorded on November 2, 2020 on Zoom video conferencing software and engineered by KBOO volunteer Ray Bodwell. https://kboo.fm/blog/55224
From the press release:
Dakota Modern: The Art of Oscar Howe introduces new generations to one of the twentieth century’s most innovative Native American painters. Howe (1915–1983) committed his artistic career to the preservation, relevance, and ongoing expression of his Yanktonai Dakota culture. He proved that art could be simultaneously modern and embedded in customary Očhéthi Šakówiŋ (Sioux) culture and aesthetics—to him there was no contradiction.Howe challenged the art establishment’s preconceptions and definitions of Native American painting. In doing so, he catalyzed a movement among Native artists to express their individuality rather than conforming to an established style. This legacy of innovation and advocacy continues to inspire generations of Native artists to take pride in their heritage and resist stereotypes.
Dakota Modern traces more than forty years of the artist’s career and development from early conventional work created while in high school in the 1930s through the emergence in the 1950s and 1960s of his innovative and abstract approach to painting.
Organized by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and the Portland Art Museum. Curated by Kathleen Ash-Milby, Curator of Native American Art at the Portland Art Museum. Major support provided by the Henry Luce Foundation. Additional support provided by the Wyeth Foundation for American Art. Support for the Portland Art Museum installation provided by the Institute for Museum and Library Services, grant MA-249741-OMS-21.
FROM THE PORTLAND TRIBUNE
THE BIG ASK
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Joseph Gallivan has been a reporter since 1990. He has covered music for the London Independent, Technology for the New York Post, and arts and culture for the Portland Tribune, where he is currently a Feature Writer. He is the author of two novels, "Oi, Ref!" and "England All Over" which are available on Amazon.com