Apsáalooke artist Wendy Red Star creatively engages with the Stanford community


Wendy Red Star: American Progress showing the Anderson Collection at Stanford University is a solo exhibition of works by artist Wendy Red Star, who grew up in the Apsáalooke reserve (Crow) in Montana. With historical research, Stanford student collaborations, large-scale installations and sovereignty imagery, Red Star asks viewers to grapple with the layered complexity of American history.

Wendy Red Star, Runs in the valley, 2022. Sculpted foam coated and painted. In this sculpture of a buffalo skull, Red Star reimagines the Golden Spike with the inscription “You are parentless” – a Crow phrase used as an insult, suggesting its lack of community, family and people to offer defense and protection. (Photo credit: Courtesy of the artist and Galerie des Filles de Sargent)

Presented on the first floor of the museum until August 28, the exhibition is inspired by the cultural heritage of Red Star and its commitment to many forms of creative expression. It addresses racism, displacement and culture surrounding the westward expansion of the United States in the nineteenth century with works created specifically for the exhibition.

“This collaboration with Wendy Red Star provides us with a very special opportunity to present an expanded view of American art to students and the public by exhibiting new works by an artist whose research-based practice addresses important issues in our era,” Jason Linetzky said. , director of the Anderson Collection, always looking for ways to demonstrate the links between the study, creation and experience of art.

On April 27, during a three-day engagement on campus with students, Red Star will present the annual conference Burt and Deedee McMurtry Anderson Collections, free public program. She will meet with Karen Biestman, Associate Dean and Director of the Native American Cultural Center and dean for community engagement and diversity at Stanford. The conference will focus on the conversation and the Red Star of experience as an artist and his Apsáalooke American progress exposure.

“We look forward to welcoming the artist to campus to engage with students and the community,” Linetzky said.

Lady Colombia

Wendy Red Star, American progress2022. Wallpaper print based on an original painting by numbers from American Progress by John Gast by Stanford students and staff Renad Abualjamal, Emily Beeston, Marco Gonzalez, Audrey Kearns, Jason Linetzky, Crystal Liu, Jean MacDougall, Jimena Martinez , Smiti Mittal, Sarah Panzer, Nik Rost, Aimee Shapiro, Mark Shunney, Ileana Tejada and Mhar Tenorio. (Photo credit: Courtesy of the artist and Galerie des Filles de Sargent)

painting by John Gast 1872 american Progress is the namesake and cornerstone of the new works of the Anderson collection, beginning with a female figure fabric cheeky larger than life floating above the museum lobby. In painting Gast, similar to the illuminated angel figure diaphanous white called “Lady Columbia” hovers over an American landscape that includes Native Americans being driven west by white settlers. His divine appearance, the book and the telegraph line, attributes it holds in its hands, and its high monitoring progression below, suggest a moral and intellectual authority. In the painting of two Gast and is padded cartoon titled Red Star America as a womanthe floating female seems to bless the people below.

In the Wisch family gallery, a wallpaper print of a painting by version numbers of American progress, made by Stanford students and museum staff following remote instructions from Red Star, covers one of the gallery walls. The paint-by-numbers version is abstract and sometimes appears messy and unfinished, which Red Star intended as an echo of US history. Aimee Shapiro, director of programming and engagement at the Anderson Collection and curator of the exhibition, says of the work: “The West developed through the ideals of capitalism and individualism. at the expense of people, cultures and wildlife that had long inhabited it. in this image, Lady Columbia effectively chase that white settlers considered undesirable, unwanted and disposable.

To look forward

Other collaborative works in the exhibition include a projected digital slideshow of tribal seals from the United States and a corresponding work titled their land, which locates the communities represented by these seals, and current tribal lands, on the map of the United States. More than a dozen Stanford students, including those affiliated with the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity and the Institute for Diversity in the Arts, conducted research and collected material in collaboration with the artist for these two works.

Wendy Red Star, their land2022. Printed wallpaper and white hand flags. (Photo credit: Courtesy of the artist and Galerie des Filles de Sargent)

“Red Star not only explores the painful past of westward expansion, but also looks to the future using the symbols and seals of many registered and unregistered Native American tribes, showcasing the sovereignty of indigenous communities,” Shapiro said. New seals will be added to the digital slideshow as student researchers make discoveries throughout the spring term.

Shapiro feels that this student collaboration exhibit makes him truly unique. “The connection between a living artist and a student can be life changing. Through this project, students were able to become artists themselves, whose working process required research, as well as the act of creating art to be on view at a museum of contemporary art,” Shapiro said. .

centerpiece of the exhibition, American progressand the projected seals of tribes across our country “make visible the student and artist’s commitment to presenting a counter-narrative to the much more common displays of American history in museums,” she added. .

The exhibit also includes lithographs that genealogy presents Red Star and sculptural and painted representations of buffaloes, which were food for natives and a target for elimination by settlers during westward expansion.

To register for the McMurtry talk featuring Red Star, which will include a Q&A with the artist, click here.


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