Largest exhibition of Jeffrey Gibson artwork touring nation

Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation commends Jeffrey Gibson who will represent the United States in the 2024 Venice Biennale. The multimedia artist has long-been a trademark among the collections of both Jordan D. Schnitzer and his Family Foundation, spanning the evolution of his oeuvre from 2008 to 2023 and amassing the largest collection of his works to date. A retrospective of these works has been assembled in a touring exhibition titled “Jeffrey Gibson: They Teach Love,” which will debut at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU on August 22, 2023. 

“Having followed Jeffrey’s career over the past several years, I’m thrilled to congratulate him for this exemplary and well-deserved recognition as one of the country’s most lauded artists,” Jordan D. Schnitzer said. “Upon the announcement, I feel very fortunate to now own more than forty works by him, which are being exhibited together for the first time in this powerful exhibition.”

Gibson, who is of Mississippi Choctaw and Cherokee heritage, has made his work known by combining aspects of Indigenous art and culture with modernist traditions throughout his contemporary practice. Melding cross-cultural aesthetics from Indigenous, American, and Queer histories with contemporary and cultural references, the interdisciplinary artist employs color, pattern, texture, video, and words to simultaneously reflect and confront the identity of American culture.

In what will be the largest survey of Gibson’s work in the country, “They Teach Love” marks a significant crux in the artist’s career, featuring more than 39 works across a span of fifteen years. Defining works like Stand Your Ground, which was featured in the 2019 Whitney Biennial, will be exhibited alongside the artist’s most recent body of large-scale sculptures and garments. The WSU installation will also include a site-specific wallpaper installation throughout the galleries.

Beginning with examples of the artist’s earliest engagements with printmaking, the exhibition proceeds to include photography, painting, and sculpture, as well as recent forms that express his foray into performance, installation, and video, as well as contemporary adornment in fashion. 

The exhibition’s centerpiece is an expansive and immersive work titled To Name An Other which comprises 50 screen printed elk hide drums and 50 wearable garments. Originally commissioned as a performance by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, in 2019, To Name An Other marks a turning point in the artist’s career whereby Gibson has increasingly sought out collective-based projects and performances to activate the communities he works within. This idea is especially appropriate when considering Gibson’s work, as he pushes to create affinity—collaboration is at the heart of his recent social practice.

In addition to the exhibition, WSU printed a full-color publication cataloging the works alongside an essay by Michael Holloman, member of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Indian Reservation and Native American art history scholar and associate professor in Fine Arts at WSU. The publication will be made available for free to museum partners and patrons. For more information about the artist and the exhibition, please visit the Foundation’s website.

About Jeffrey Gibson

Jeffrey Gibson, The Anthropophagic Effect, Garment No. 4, 2019. Canvas, satin, cotton, brass grommets, nylon thread, artificial sinew, split reed, glass and plastic beads, nylon ribbon. Overall: 147.32 x 182.88 cm (58 x 72 in.).
Jeffrey Gibson, The Anthropophagic Effect, Garment No. 4, 2019. Canvas, satin, cotton, brass grommets, nylon thread, artificial sinew, split reed, glass and plastic beads, nylon ribbon. Overall: 147.32 x 182.88 cm (58 x 72 in.). National Gallery of Art, Washington. Lehrman Fund and Millennium Fund. 2023.7.1 Photo courtesy of Jason Wyche.

Jeffrey Gibson is a citizen of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and is of Cherokee heritage. He is currently an artist-in-residence at Bard College and lives and works near Hudson, New York. His work is a vibrant call for queer and Indigenous empowerment, envisioning a celebration of strength and joy within these communities. 

Gibson (b. 1972, Colorado Springs, CO) grew up in major urban centers in the United States, Germany, Korea, and England. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1995 and Master of Arts in painting at the Royal College of Art, London, in 1998.

Gibson’s work is included in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York; Denver Art Museum; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C.; National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, AR; among many others.

Gibson is a recipient of numerous awards, notably a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (2019); Joan Mitchell Foundation, Painters and Sculptors Award (2015); and Creative Capital Foundation.

About the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation

The Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation’s mission is to share the extensive post-war and contemporary collections with qualified museums through exhibitions and loans to further the appreciation of and education associated with the major artists of the late 20th and 21st century.

Jordan D. Schnitzer grew up surrounded by art in his mother’s Portland, OR art gallery. What began as an interest in his formative years became a passion in 1988 when he began collecting post-war prints and multiples in earnest, amassing what would become the largest private collection of prints in the country.

Attracted by the collaborative and egalitarian nature of printmaking, Jordan naturally developed a program to share the work from his personal and Family Foundation collections in 1997. What began as collegial partnerships with regional university museums has today expanded to an extensive exhibition program with over 160 exhibitions of art at over 120 museums across the country.

With more than 20,000 pieces of art in all mediums, the collection now features major holdings of some of the most important Post-War and Contemporary Women, Black, Native American, Asian, and Latin artists.

Since 1995, Jordan has worked with curators and institutions across the country to organize over seventy major traveling exhibitions highlighting BIPOC and women artists. The Foundation publishes scholarly brochures, exhibition catalogues, and catalogues raisonnés in conjunction with exhibitions drawn from the collections.

The Foundation also funds museum outreach and programming – especially to lesser served communities – furthering the mission of letting artists speak to us, through their art, on important issues facing society.

Schnitzer is also president of Schnitzer Properties, a privately owned real estate investment company based in Portland. For more information about the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, please visit jordanschnitzer.org.

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