The Fall Group Show is an opportunity to present eight gallery artists whose abstract work has a cohesive aesthetic, yet comes from varied places, in terms of subject matter, materials and processes. Artists include Jeff Kahm, Rick Bartow, Ed Brandt, Irene Kung, Peter Millet, Chris Richter, Rose B. Simpson, Emmi Whitehorse.
Contemporary artists have been drawn to patterning from a broad variety of influences: from the sensibilities of indigenous markings, mimicking the rhythm and repetition found inherently in nature, to folk art motifs, architectural constructs or scientific and geometric concepts that have progressed over the last several centuries.
Today artists integrate variations of these and other influences into their work, in abstract, non-objective ways, from fluid and amorphous to definitive and geometric. It is through this contemporary art of abstraction that ‘pattern’ takes on a personality of its own, mimicking the vision of its maker, hence the impetus for this exhibit: Patternality.
Chiaroscuro’s contemporary Native artists represent the core of our year round programing. The annual Native group show is an opportunity to present vibrant new work from Neal Ambrose-Smith, Jeff Kahm, and Emmi Whitehorse, and new-to-the-market pieces from the estates of Rick Bartow and Harry Fonseca.
This exhibit reflects the dynamic nature of Native American creativity and the changing realities of life and culture across the Americas. Featured artists include Neal Ambrose-Smith (Salish/Kootenai), Alistair Bane (Shawnee), Jeff Kahm (Plains Cree) and Virgil Ortiz (Cochiti Pueblo) in collaboration with Emilio Lobato, all working in a variety of styles and media. There is an opportunity to hear diversity in Native American voices if we are willing to listen.
From the group of artists represented by Denver's William Havu Gallery, art critic Michael Paglia has selected a group of contemporary artists active in Colorado and other Western states. Considering the core of New Regionalisms, there are the expected contemporary takes on the landscape, the main current of art in the West for more than a century, as well as abstract work that ranges from expressionist to hard-edged, likewise in Western themes.
Jeff Kahm describes his work as a ‘fusion of Indigenous motifs (stripes and geometric shapes) combined with the Modernist aesthetic’ and this synthesis is clearly evident in the compositions of his new paintings. Myriad sources inform Jeff’s work, from his own Plains Cree heritage and the linear patterns found on trade blankets and parfleche bags of Plains tribes, to the hard-edge abstraction of numerous 20th century masters. Kahm’s intuitive color choices, and his method of employing trowels and acrylic mediums to activate the surfaces, result in paintings that exude a meditative quality and invite extended reflection.
Culture Shift: The Contemporary Native Art Biennial
April 30 - June 18, 2016
Art Mûr Central Pavilon
Montréal, Québec, Canada
The Contemporary Native Art Biennial participates in the exercise of reconciliation through its mandate, which is to introduce the variety of art practices stemming from Indigenous cultures of North America to an ever-wider audience of Indigenous and Non- Indigenous peoples. It seeks to become a highly visible platform for the promotion of the messages, stories and ideas that creative Indigenous peoples bring into the world.
-- Michael Patten, Guest Curator
Madison Gallery proudly presents at its new location, 1055 Wall Street; Dynamics/Confluence, a new collection from artists Lori Cozen-Geller and Jeff Kahm. This exhibition explores a dialogue of opposites and the inherent duality that exists between the artist and the viewer. Through use of form, texture and material the artwork aims to shift our perspective of human interaction.
Nordamerika Native Museum, Indianer und Inuit Kulturen
Last year, the NONAM received substantial funding from the Lottery Fund of the Canton of Zurich, in order to expand the collection in a forward-looking way. Contemporary artists of Canada and the United States express the implications of being an indigenous person today – coping with stereotypes and the remnants of a colonial past, and fighting for a self-determined identity, to name just a few things. The works shown in «Native Art Now» tell stories of devotion and death, of arctic secrets, of the power of humor, of historical superheroes, of the legendary Navajo code-talkers and much more. Contemporary indigenous art brings honored traditions into the present and helps them on into a self-determined future.
Included artists: Frank Shebageget, Nicholas Galanin, Shan Goshorn, Jeff Kahm, Cannupa Hanska Luger, Sonya Kelliher-Combs, Gina Adams, Michael Belmore, Maria Hupfield, Jason Garcia, David Bradley, Diego Romero, Will Wilson, Ross Chaney and Chris Pappan.
Eleven Native artists from Canada and the U.S. whose work range from paintings, sculpture and installations to pieces on paper are asked to mine the illusions of their culture including icons, myths, dualities, mirages, and stories.
The balance of Matt Devine’s artwork is curated alongside the hard-edged acrylic paintings of Canadian artist, Jeff Kahm. Kahm’s indigenous heritage has influenced his minimalistic paintings by creating a layering process of pigment and paint that reveals the under-paint. Combined with indigenous design motifs and appreciation for post modernism and color field abstraction, Kahm reiterates the powerful simplicity of the line. With influences of geometric abstractionists such as Frank Stella and Ken Noland, Kahm exploits the historic relevance of the linear form.
“Geometric structures like stripes are the most recognizable of all the patterns and have been used throughout the centuries. These structures infinitely repeat and are an effective vehicle for exploring compositional variations.”
– Jeff Kahm
“With machine-like precision he divides his paintings, which range from small works on paper to imposing groups of canvases, into bold but carefully balanced configurations of hard-edged stripes. In several cases, Kahm methodically repeats identical figures -- chevrons or nested arrangements of bars and boxes -- across entire series of works that differ only in the colours used.
The works draw freely from the history of North American and European abstract art, quoting Colour Field and Minimal painters like Barnet Newman, Kenneth Noland, Frank Stella and Jack Bush. Not coincidentally, they also echo the striking geometries of traditional indigenous art and design, notably the Navajo and Pueblo ceramics and textiles of Kahm's adopted home in the American Southwest.” Steven Leyden Cochrane, Winnipeg Free Press
Contemporary Native Art Magazine in conjunction with 1Spot Gallery in Phoenix, Arizona present a show on abstraction by a group of Native artists from U.S. and Canada.
June 29 - September 21, 2013
516 Arts: an independent non-profit art space
Albuquerque, New Mexico
This exhibition features works on paper by 36 contemporary Native American artists. Curated by Suzanne Fricke and Beverly Morris, the project was originally organized with the Institute of American Indian Arts to celebrate 2012 as the official year of Russian-American friendship. The American Consulate sponsored the show at the Ekaterinburg Museum of Fine Arts in Russia. Each piece was chosen to reflect the complexity and richness of modern Native life. The artists reflect the diversity in tribal affiliation, geographic location, gender and age, and share an intricate vision of life lived in different worlds, from the long traditions of their specific tribes to the politics and pop of the world at large. The continued vitality and relevance of Native artists to the art world in general speaks to the strength of Native cultures, not only for their ability to survive but to thrive, and their ability to create and recreate in the face of many challenges.
In the solo exhibition VERNACULAR, artist Jeff Kahm explores geometric structures, such as stripes, as an effective vehicle for exploring compositional variations. Kahm culls examples from all cultures to show that these forms played a major role in the geometric styles and development of aesthetics of early history and it is precisely in their use as symbols that geometric configurations persist. Various Indigenous cultures use abstract and geometric motifs not only for visual aesthetics (as a visual language) but to create meaning – meanings that symbolically represent the physical and social world.
Jeff Kahm: Artist Lecture
December 9, 2012
Museum of Contemporary Native Arts
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Artist Jeff Kahm will present on his current work and process influenced by the parallels and similarities between Indigenous and Modernist aesthetics.