VOLTA NY 2016
March 2–6, 2016
New York, 10036, USA
Pierre-Francois Ouellette art contemporain is pleased to present works by Kent Monkman at the invitational solo project fair VOLTA NY. Monkman's diverse practice will be presented in the form of new video works and studies from previous bodies of work. The new video works in particular augment the depth of theme and persona in Monkman's representations of indigenous roles across several colonialist ages. These "video paintings" incorporate performance, storytelling, and art-historical innuendo - with painted backgrounds where live-action characters interact and exist indefinitely.
In his series of four video paintings, Kent Monkman explores historical precedents and themes of First Nations peoples in Europe. Since the arrival of Europeans in the Americas, Indigenous peoples traveled to Europe as embassadors for their own people, captives, performers and as specimens for human zoos, popular in the 19th century. Both Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show and George Catlin’s Gallery of the North American Indian featured Native American performers. Monkman constructs a back story for Miss Chief who began her own career as an artist and performer with her nemesis George Catlin before launching her own Taxonomy of the European Male. The Emergence of Legend photo series touches on this mythology.
Kent Monkman is a Canadian artist of Cree ancestry who works with a variety of mediums, including painting, film/video, performance, and installation. He has had solo exhibitions at numerous museums including the Musée d'art contemporain de Rochechouart, France, the Montreal Museum of Fine Art, the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art and at the Gardiner Museum in Toronto, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, the Woodlands Cultural Centre, the Art Gallery of Hamilton and the Art Gallery of the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities. He has participated in various group exhibitions including Shapeshifting: Transformations in Native American Art at Peabody Essex Museum, The American West at Compton Verney, in Warwickshire, England, Remember Humanity at Witte de With, Rotterdam, the 2010 Sydney Biennale, My Winnipeg at Maison Rouge, Paris, Oh Canada! at MASS MOCA, Palm Springs Art Museum and Denver Art Museum. Monkman has created site specific performances at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, the Denver Art Museum, The Royal Ontario Museum and at Compton Verney. He has also made Super 8 versions of these performances which he calls “Colonial Art Space Interventions.” His work is represented in numerous public and private collections including the National Gallery of Canada, Musée d'art contemporain de Rochechouart (France), Musée des beaux-art de Montréal, Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, Art Gallery of Ontario, Museum London, Woodland Cultural Centre, The Glenbow Museum, Indian Art Centre, Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Mackenzie Art Gallery, the Art Bank of the Canada Council, Smithsonian/National Museum of the American Indian, Vancouver Art Gallery, Fondation de la Maison Rouge(Paris), Rideau Hall (Ottawa), The Logan Collection/Denver Art Museum and Hart House/University of Toronto.
The Gallery thanks the Canada Council for the Arts for its support.