Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist

November 7, 2015 – September 18, 2016
National Museum of the American Indian
4th St. & Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC
3rd Level

Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist is the first major retrospective of the artistic career of Kay WalkingStick (b. 1935), an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation and one of the world’s most celebrated artists of Native American ancestry. Featuring more than 75 of her most notable paintings, drawings, small sculptures, notebooks, and the diptychs for which she is best known, the exhibition traces her career over more than four decades and culminates with her recent paintings of monumental landscapes and Native places. Her distinctive approach to painting emerged from the cauldron of the New York art world, poised between late modernism and postmodernism of the 1960s and 1970s. Over decades of intense and prolific artistic production, she sought spiritual truth through the acts of painting and metaphysical reflection. Organized chronologically around themes that mark her artistic journey, Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist traces a path of constant invention, innovation, and evolving artistic and personal growth through visually brilliant and evocative works of art.

The exhibition is co-curated by NMAI curator Kathleen Ash-Milby (Navajo) and associate director David W. Penney, in close collaboration with the artist. Ash-Milby and Penney are also co-editors and authors of a substantial companion catalogue, the first of its kind, which also features writings by Lucy Lippard, Kate Morris, Robert Houle (Saulteaux), Lisa Seppi, Judith Ostrowitz, Miles Miller (Yakama/Nez Perce), Jessica Horton, Margaret Archuleta (Tewa) and Kay WalkingStick herself.

Related book: Kay WalkingStick:An American Artist (2015)