APRIL 27 - JULY 15, 2006
Cavin-Morris Gallery is pleased to present Indigenous Drawing: Stories from the Homeground. The artists in this exhibition are Indian, African, Native-American, Mexican, Japanese, Ethiopian, Australian Aboriginal, Peruvian and Inuit. They are all non-participants in the Contemporary Art Mainstream yet their works warrant a place in the eye of the contemporary observer. Drawing on paper is not part of the original cultures of any of these artists, they have stepped into a new arena of their cultural worldviews or homegrounds by placing their marks on this medium. Each has a different intentionality for drawing ranging from documentation of disappearing information, to amuletic healing and protection, to appropriating oneself in an ever-shifting world, to meditation, to capturing an ayahuasca vision or preserving shamanic information.
The languages that inform this work, the contexts of the artists’ lives are still greatly influenced by the worldview of their diverse cultures. Several are shamans, one a female shaman from the Seri tribe in Senora, Mexico of which a mere two hundred members survive. Another was the houseboy in Isak Dinesan’s Out of Africa. Another, from a family of traditional Indian artists, has incorporated controversial feminist concerns into her work. Other works are imbued with nothing more than their original spiritual functions. To look at them as a group and understand what artists outside the standard lens are doing, one can see that, as wide ranging and open as Contemporary Art is today, we still have seen only the most minimal aspects. These works put a different twist on the concept of art for art’s sake. It is undeniable that there are aesthetic concerns at work with each artist but the actual process of creation, the visible aspect of oral culture, is what makes it unique. As art historian Esther Pasztory suggests in Thinking With Things, the art itself is a form of cognitive thinking, integrated fully as part of the process of living.
In Gallery Two Chinalai Tribal Antiques will curate an exciting exhibition of Buddha sculptures and images which are made for personal use or which show idiosyncratic styles. We will exhibit both bronze and wood pieces primarily from South-East Asia. The curator’s preferences are toward those sculptures that show the hand of the carver more than the idealized form of Buddha.