Throughout her career as artist, activist, and educator, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith (b. 1940) has forged a personal yet accessible visual language she uses to address environmental destruction, war, genocide, and the misreading of the past. An enrolled Salish member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Nation, Smith cleverly deploys elements of abstraction, neo-expressionism, and pop, fusing them with Indigenous artistic traditions to upend commonly held conceptions of historical narratives and illuminate absurdities in the formation of dominant culture. Her drawings, prints, paintings, and sculptures blur categories and question why certain visual languages attain recognition, historical privilege, and value, reflecting her belief that her “life’s work involves examining contemporary life in America and interpreting it through Native ideology.” Also central to Smith’s work and thinking is the land and she emphasizes that Native people have always been part of the land: “These are my stories, every picture, every drawing is telling a story. I create memory maps.” The publication illustrates nearly five decades of Smith’s work in all media, accompanied by essays and short texts by contemporary Indigenous artists and scholars on each of Smith’s major bodies of work.
On view at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth