Jaune Quick-to-See Smith
Jaune Quick-to-See Smith is one of the U.S.’s finest indigenous talents and a late-career artist with extraordinary aesthetic, intellectual and curatorial achievements to her credit. Coming of age when Abstract Expressionism with its white male tenor dominated, Smith pushed back and developed a strong personal vision forged from belonging to two marginalized groups by birth (female and Native American) and one by choice (non-urban), aligning them more closely with the mainstream art world. This exhibition mines Smith’s cross-cultural experience and Salish-Kootenai identity and demonstrates the evolution of her lifelong aesthetic investigations in which she simultaneously questions and creates American history.
In the Footsteps of My Ancestors examines themes that perennially recur in Smith’s work, including conflict, compassion, peace, the cycle of life, irony, and identity. The artist has always operated on a cusp – culturally, temporally, aesthetically, and from a gender perspective – which gives her work an attention-getting vitality, originality, and relevance. Her role in the shift toward deepening respect for Native American contemporary art cannot be understated, and her work is at once earthy, vibrant, sophisticated, and compassionate.
Jaune Quick-to-See Smith: In the Footsteps of My Ancestors is organized by the Yellowstone Art Museum.