Visual Arts

Heard Museum to Host First Comprehensive Retrospective of American Indian Modernist George Morrison

Say what you will about modernists, they are magnets for attention in the art world. Chippewa artist George Morrison had a long and varied career that included forays into Cubism, Surrealism, and Abstract Expressionism. With work that took the form of drawings, paintings, prints, and sculptures, Morrison often explored the physical landscape in his art.

This fall, the Heard Museum will showcase Morrison's lifework in "Modern Spirit: The Art of George Morrison," a traveling exhibition organized by the Minnesota Museum of American Art and Arts Midwest with the Plains Art Museum.

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"The Heard Museum is proud to showcase the work of George Morrison, who has transcended the 'Indian artist' genre to be recognized as one of the great 20th-century American Modernist artists," says James Pepper Henry (Kaw/Muscogee Creek), director and CEO of the Heard Museum, via press release.

Most of the artwork in the show comes from the Minnesota Museum of American Art, which houses the largest collection of Morrison's artwork in the country. Many of the pieces from this collection also appeared in the 2004 inaugural show at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.

"George Morrison was both a major American modernist and an influential Indian artist whose beautiful images and objects have inspired generations of viewers, including younger artists," says the Oklahoma-based exhibition curator W. Jackson Rushing III. "His later paintings especially are imbued with what he called inherent Indian values, affirming the importance of place."

Start getting excited for the chance to see the work in person; it sounds like it'll be a treat.

"Modern Spirit: The Art of George Morrison" will be on view at the Heard Museum from October 25 through January 11. For more information, visit heard.org.

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Katrina Montgomery