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Jaune Quick-to-See Smith:
Memory Map

Apr 19–Aug 2023

This exhibition is the first New York retrospective of Jaune Quick-to-See Smith (b. 1940, citizen of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Nation), an overdue but timely look at the work of a groundbreaking artist. Jaune Quick-to-See Smith: Memory Map brings together nearly five decades of Smith’s drawings, prints, paintings, and sculptures in the largest and most comprehensive showing of her career to date. 

Smith’s work engages with contemporary modes of making, from her idiosyncratic adoption of abstraction to her reflections on American Pop art and neo-expressionism. These artistic traditions are incorporated and reimagined with concepts rooted in Smith’s own cultural practice, reflecting her belief that her “life’s work involves examining contemporary life in America and interpreting it through Native ideology.” Employing satire and humor, Smith’s art tells stories that flip commonly held conceptions of historical narratives and illuminate absurdities in the formation of dominant culture. Smith’s approach importantly blurs categories and questions why certain visual languages attain recognition, historical privilege, and value.  

Across decades and mediums, Smith has deployed and reappropriated ideas of mapping, history, and environmentalism while incorporating personal and collective memories. The retrospective will offer new frameworks in which to consider contemporary Native American art and show how Smith has led and initiated some of the most pressing dialogues around land, racism, and cultural preservation—issues at the forefront of contemporary life and art today.

This exhibition is organized by Laura Phipps, Assistant Curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art, with Caitlin Chaisson, Curatorial Project Assistant.

Generous support for Jaune Quick-to-See Smith: Memory Map is provided by Judy Hart Angelo, the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Foundation, Lise and Michael Evans, the Henry Luce Foundation, the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the Terra Foundation for American Art, and the Whitney’s National Committee.

Major support is provided by Forge Project, Garth Greenan Gallery, and Susan and Larry Marx.

Significant support is provided by Chrissy Taylor and Lee Broughton, Stephanie and Tim Ingrassia, Susan Hayden, John and Susan Horseman Collection/Horseman Foundation, The Keith Haring Foundation Exhibition Fund, Brooke Garber Neidich and Daniel M. Neidich, and Nancy and Fred Poses.

Additional support is provided by Furthermore: a program of the J. M. Kaplan Fund and Komal Shah and Gaurav Garg.




A 30-second online art project:
Amelia Winger-Bearskin, Sky/World Death/World

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