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Artist Talk: Jeffrey Gibson

Jeffery Gibson has received worldwide praise for his vibrant and culturally meaningful installation for the US Pavilion at the 2024 Venice Biennale, the first solo presentation there by a Native American artist. Like the work that has come to exemplify his broader practice, the installation in Venice fuses his Choctaw-Cherokee heritage and multicultural experiences with references from history and pop culture to comment on the state of the world today. He is known for works that combine intricate Indigenous artisanal craft, such as beadwork and quilting, with language that speaks to the Indigenous struggle for freedom and equality, as exemplified by his 2020 work TO FEEL MYSELF BELOVED ON THE EARTH, an intricately beaded multicolored punching bag sculpture that recently entered the Hirshhorn collection.

Gibson will join Hirshhorn assistant curator Betsy Johnson in conversation to discuss defining elements of his practice and the inspiration behind his work, as well as what it means to represent the United States on a global stage.

This program is presented in partnership with the Meridian Center for Cultural Diplomacy on the occasion of the Meridian Cultural Diplomacy Awards and the Culturefix Initiative and in partnership with the National Museum of the American Indian.
Jeffrey Gibson is an interdisciplinary artist. A member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and of Cherokee descent, Gibson grew up in major urban centers in the United States, Germany, and Korea. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1995 and a Master of Arts in painting at the Royal College of Art, London, in 1998. He was awarded honorary doctorates from the Claremont Graduate University (2016) and the Institute of American Indian Arts (2023). He is currently an artist-in-residence at Bard College. Gibson has received many distinguished awards, including a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant (2012) and a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship Award (2019). Gibson also conceived and coedited the landmark volume An Indigenous Present (2023), which showcases diverse approaches to Indigenous concepts, forms, and media. His work is included in the permanent collections of the Denver Art Museum; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Portland Art Museum; Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian; and Whitney Museum of American Art, among others.

An Indigenous Present will be available for purchase in the Hirshhorn Museum Store before the program.