Marie Watt: Meet the Native Women Artists Claiming Their Place in New York

Devorah Lauter, CULTURED, May 10, 2023

Cutlured Mag



If you’re in the New York area this month, you are poised to experience an unprecedented moment in art history: a burst of independently organized, essential art exhibitions featuring works by contemporary Native American women artists. 


“This is the largest wave we’ve ever had, and it’s more than a wave,” says Candice Hopkins, executive director and chief curator at New York’s Forge Project, which organizes a fellowship for Indigenous culture workers. “I think that this time, it’s going to stick. I’ve been trying to make this space happen for more than 20 years.”

Perhaps the most prominent of the current exhibitions is Jaune Quick-to-See Smith’s retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the first of a Native American artist organized by the institution.


The Whitney will also open a presentation of New Mexico-based artist Rose B. Simpson’s larger-than-life-size concrete figures on June 3, with a billboard on Gansevoort Street opening September 18. Meanwhile, the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in New York is opening the first major retrospective of Mohawk artist Shelley Niro on May 27; sculptor Marie Watt’s solo show at Marc Straus has been extended through May 20; and Sargent’s Daughters is showing Wendy Red Star at the Independent Art Fair this week and in their New York gallery (through May 20). Further up the Hudson River, the Thomas Cole National Historic Site in Catskill is featuring several Native female artists in the exhibition, “Women Reframe American Landscape,” on view through October 29. 

of 1337