Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

The U.S. National Gallery of Art acquired its first painting by a Native American artist.


The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. has acquired Jaune Quick-to-See Smith’s 11-foot tall mixed-media piece I See Red: Target (1992), making it the first painting by a Native American artist to enter the museum’s collection. The National Gallery of Art opened in 1941. The work was purchased with funds provided by major collectors Emily and Mitchell Rales.

Smith, an enrolled Salish member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Nation in Montana, created the monumental work as part of a series commenting on the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the Americas. The piece combines sculptural assemblage, collaged newspaper clippings, historic photography and Smith’s painterly touches into a commentary on “Native Americans being used as commodities,” as Smith told the Star-Tribune.

The piece is on view in the museum’s East Building Pop art galleries, where it hangs in close proximity to other Pop works whose style the piece comments on, including Jasper Johns’s Target (1958) and Andy Warhol’s Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (Rauschenberg Family) (1962).


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