Andrea Carlson Exhibition Opens at the National Museum of the American Indian in New York June 13

May 11, 2009
News Release
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Twenty of Andrea Carlson’s complex and layered works will be at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in New York, the George Gustav Heye Center beginning Saturday, June 13. Carlson (Anishinaabe/European, b. 1979) is a Minnesota-based artist whose works offer a sharp commentary on museums, collections and contemporary storytelling. The exhibition will continue through Jan. 10, 2010. 

The exhibition will open concurrently with an exhibition by artist Annie Pootoogook (Inuit) at the museum.

Carlson is interested in the relationship between stories and objects, referring to the museum as a “mythic landscape in its own right.” Multiple visual references found within her work recall the numerous objects within museum collections. Her nods to cannibal exploitation films further a metaphor of consumption between the collector and collected. The exhibition will include several of her series including “Aadizookaan,” which refers to cycle of traditional stories and “Windigo,” which focuses on cultural cannibalism. The Windigo is a cannibal monster, who often misidentifies those it consumes. Carlson’s recent large-scale works, including “Portage” and “The Tempest,” feature seascapes that appear like central mouths gripped within jaw-like patterns that seem to devour the viewer as well. 

This exhibition marks the first time Carlson’s work will be shown in New York. Her previous exhibitions include the Bockley Gallery in Minneapolis, Minn., and as part of the group show, “New Dreaming,” at the October Gallery in London. She will also be part of “Rendezvoused,” a two-person exhibition with Ho-Chunk artist Tom Jones; it is a collaboration between the University of Wisconsin and the University of Ca’Foscari (Venice, Italy) presented this summer concurrently with the Venice Biennale 53rd International Art Exhibition. She received her bachelor of arts from the University of Minnesota and her master of fine arts from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. 

“Andrea Carlson” is guest curated by Joseph D. Horse Capture (A’aninin), associate curator at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in New York, the George Gustav Heye Center, is located at One Bowling Green in New York City, across from Battery Park. The museum is free and open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Thursdays until 8 p.m. Call (212) 514-3700 for general information. By subway, the museum may be reached by the 1 to South Ferry, the 4 or 5 to Bowling Green or the R or W to Whitehall Street. The museum’s Web site is

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