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Seattle Art Museum
Published: 13 February 2019

In Jeffrey Gibson: Like a Hammer, the acclaimed contemporary artist reflects on the complexity of modern identity and envisions a more inclusive future. The survey, opening at the Seattle Art Museum on Feb. 28, presents a significant selection of Gibson's exuberant artwork created since 2011. Featuring over 65 works, including abstract geometric paintings on rawhide and canvas, beaded punching bags, sculptures, wall hangings, and video, Like a Hammer reflects varied influences, including fashion and design, abstract painting, queer identity, popular music, and the materials and aesthetics of Native American cultures. 

Gibson is of Cherokee heritage and a citizen of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. He grew up in urban settings in Germany, South Korea, the United States, and England, and his work draws on his experiences in different cultural environments. In his artwork, materials used in Indigenous powwow regalia, such as glass beads, drums, trade blankets, and metal jingles, are twined together with aspects of queer club culture as well as the legacies of abstract painting. The inspiration and community of dance clubs and pop music reverberates throughout his work, perhaps most noticeable in his incorporation of song lyrics as text in many artworks or as titles of artworks. 

Jeffrey Gibson: Like a Hammer will be on view at SAM from Feb. 28, 2019 - May 12, 2019


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