Finding a Contemporary Voice: the Legacy of Lloyd Kiva New and IAIA

On display May 21, 2016 - Oct 10, 2016

Fritz Scholder, Arts Faculty at the Institute of American Indian Arts at 4:15pm, 1968,
oil on canvas, 54 1/2 x 71 1/2 in. Collection of the New Mexico Museum of Art.
Gift of Fritz Scholder, 1968 (2271.23P) © Fritz Scholder Estate. Photo by Blair Clark
 

Taking a Fritz Scholder group portrait of the faculty at the Institute of American Indian Arts and the legacy of the it’s cofounder Lloyd Kiva New as starting points, this exhibition includes work by IAIA faculty and alumni from the 1960s to the present such as Scholder, Neil Parsons, T.C. Cannon, Melanie Yazzie, Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie, and Will Wilson. New encouraged looking at new techniques and forms as a path to creating contemporary Indian art. The founding of the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe in 1962 intersects with a significant moment in the history of Western Art. Ethnicity and culture, political ideology, feminism, and the inclusion of personal narratives became legitimate forms of expression in mainstream contemporary art. The early years of IAIA were also an era of consciousness raising and civil rights movements in the United States. Native American self-determination was a major issue for many indigenous artists.

Enough time has passed that the early days of IAIA, looking back half a century now, can be historicized and examined in greater context. The institution was founded during a period of great change and spurred shifts in how indigenous artists viewed themselves and their art, paving the way for Native American artists to take their place in the global contemporary art field. Looking at the issues of identity still being raised in contemporary Native American art, it is clear that the artwork of the 1960s and 70s began a conversation that continues to this day.



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