Andrea Carlson (Ojibwe) artworks acquired by UM Museum of Art

The University of Michigan Museum of Art announced a selection of recent acquisitions in late February 2023 that capture the Museum’s collecting priorities across global cultures and material innovations. Among the acquired objects is a  group of three works on paper by artist Andrea Carlson (Ojibwe) that are currently on view as part of a significant installation at the Museum, titled Future Cache.

The installation highlights the history and experiences of the Cheboiganing (Burt Lake) Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, who were violently burned from their land in Northern Michigan on October 15, 1900. The works of art acquired by UMMA imagine a future decolonized landscape

UMMA’s collection includes more than 20,000 objects, and has particular strengths in Chinese and Japanese art from antiquity to the 19th century, African art of the 19th and 20th centuries, and American art from the 19th century to the present. In 2021, UMMA completed an expansive strategic plan, which includes a strong emphasis on collections and provenance research as well as a commitment to expanding the collection with works of art by artists of color, women, works that build on the museum’s significant strengths in African, Asian and Michigan-based artists, and works that engage complexly with issues and ideas of our time.

“The works of art that we recently acquired display a depth of conceptual and material innovation and reflect the distinct and overlapping concerns of a diverse and global group of artists—concerns that include labor, technology, Indigenous rights, and cultural memory. We look forward to engaging our communities with these objects and the dynamic dialogues they inspire,” Christina Olsen, UMMA’s Director, said. “We see our collection as a vital and expansive source for material ideas and research to generate new thinking and dialogue for U-M students and our broader community. As we expand the collection, it is important that it develops in ways that deepen our understanding of the past and the present, that foster wide-ranging conversations among people of differing perspectives and experiences, and that help us imagine and create a more equitable future.”

Andrea Carlson artworks

Andrea Carlson, I’ll cut a hole, 2022; Nibi, 2022; A Selfish Man, 2022:

Andrea Carlson (b. 1979, Ojibwe) works across a wide range of media, including drawing, painting, and mixed media installation. In her practice, she often explores fictions, stories, and the histories of objects and landscapes. Her work considers destructive settler colonial practices of assimilation and the consumption of cultural identities, while centering issues of land rights and celebrating Indigenous histories and futures. 

I’ll cut a holeNibi, and A Selfish Man are all currently on view at UMMA as part of the long-term installation Future Cache. These paintings on paper, which are presented alongside a 40-foot-tall memorial wall that commemorates the Cheboiganing (Burt Lake) Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, feature imagined decolonized landscapes and a symbolic cache of provisions.

These are the first works by Carlson to enter UMMA’s collection and support the Museum’s investment in artists of Indigenous heritage.

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