Drawing on Tradition: Kanza Artist Chris Pappan features 17 original drawings and paintings that build on traditional Plains Indian narrative art forms. Pappan’s art is both stunning and unexpected, commenting on the past and exposing misperceptions of Native American peoples. By referencing elements of Euro-American culture in his drawings and layering some of his new works onto pre-existing Field Museum cases and objects that he chose as a co-curator of the exhibition, Pappan deftly exposes inaccurate ideas about Native Americans, comments on the past, and highlights the vibrancy of contemporary Indian life. His pieces are at once beautiful works of art and brilliant commentaries on the political and cultural treatment of Native peoples. They explore how we look at Native Americans as artists and keepers of culture, and provide an answer to the question of how traditions must change in order to survive. Pappan’s work invites the viewer to be part of a larger conversation on where we’ve been and where we might go.
Drawing on Tradition: Kanza Artist Chris Pappan is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how NEA grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.
The Julian Grace Foundation provided support for the Chris Pappan exhibition and related outreach.
This exhibition is organized by The Field Museum.