Summer Exhibitions at Bard College’s Hessel Museum of Art

Indian Theater: Native Performance, Art, and Self-Determination since 1969 — on view through November 26 — is the first large-scale exhibition to center performance as an origin point for contemporary art by Native American, First Nations, Métis, Inuit, and Alaska Native artists, beginning with the role that they play in the self-determination era, sparked by the Occupation of Alcatraz in 1969. Indian Theater aims to explore how humor is used as a strategy for cultural critique and reflection, parse the inherent relationships between objecthood and agency, and complicate representations of the Native body. Song, dance, and music are also posited as a basis for collectivity and resistance to a time when Native ceremony and public gatherings were illegal in both the United States and Canada.

Curated by Candice Hopkins (Carcross/Tagish First Nation), Forge Project’s Executive Director and CCS Bard’s Fellow in Indigenous Art History and Curatorial Studies, the show brings together some 100 works by over 40 artists and collectives, including new commissions and performances by Rebecca Belmore (Member of the Lac Seul First Nation (Anishinaabe)), Nicholas Galanin (Tlingit/Unangax̂), Jeffrey Gibson (Mississippi Band of Choctaw and Cherokee), Kite (Oglala Sioux Tribe), and Eric-Paul Riege (Diné), among others.

Indian Theater is accompanied by a major publication Native Visual Sovereignty: A Reader on Art and Performance (Fall 2023), edited by Hopkins and co-published by Dancing Foxes Press, CCS Bard, and Forge Project.

Installation view of Erika Verzutti: New Moons at the Hessel Museum of Art

Erika Verzutti: New Moons — on view through October 15 — provides an expansive view of the bold and influential practice of one of the most significant Brazilian artists working today. Marking Verzutti’s first US survey, the exhibition presents over 60 wall works and sculptures, encompassing materials both permanent and expendable, such as bronze, clay, Styrofoam, papier machê, and porcelain. The artist integrates a multitude of references — including elements from art and architectural history, plant, human, and animal life, as well as spiritual objects — resulting in both singular new forms and chains of associations.

Curated by Lauren Cornell, Chief Curator at the Hessel and Director of CCS Bard’s Graduate Program, the exhibition is accompanied by a publication with essays by Cornell; Ruba Katrib, Curator, MoMA PS1; Bernardo Mosqueira, ISLAA Curatorial Fellow at the New Museum; as well as texts by Verzutti on individual artworks. The publication Erika Verzutti: New Moons is co-published by Dancing Foxes, New York; the Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA), New York; and the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College.

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Eric-Paul Riege (Diné), “jaatłoh4Ye’iitsoh” (2020–2022)
Erika Verzutti, left to right: “Brasília Jóia / Jewel Brasília” (2011); “Brasília Acústica / Acoustic Brasília” (2011); “Brasília Skate” (2011)
Erika Verzutti, “Crisis of Sculpture” (2023)

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