May 24, 2019

Jeffrey Gibson @ Madison Museum of Contemporary Art - Like a Hammer

Jeffrey Gibson: Like a Hammer
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art
June 8 - September 15, 2019

Jeffrey Gibson
JEFFREY GIBSON (Mississippi Band Choctaw/ Cherokee) 
AMERICAN HISTORY (JB), 2015
Wool, steel studs, glass beads, artificial sinew, 
metal jingles, acrylic yarn, nylon fringe, and canvas
89 × 66 × 5 in. 
Lent by the Lewis Family
Image courtesy of Jeffrey Gibson Studio and 
Roberts Projects, Los Angeles, California 
Photograph by Peter Mauney

The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA) presents the 2019 presentation of artist JEFFREY GIBSON’s first major museum exhibition. Organized by the Denver Art Museum (DAM), Jeffrey Gibson: Like a Hammer showcases the artist’s highly acclaimed multi-disciplinary work and chronicles a pivotal moment in the artist’s career when his contemporary artistic practice converged with his Native American heritage. The exhibition features about 65 objects comprising large and mid-sized figurative works, text-based wall hangings, a significant selection of his illustrious Everlast beaded punching bags, painted works on rawhide and canvas, as well as videos.

“Jeffrey Gibson’s work is vibrant and bold, yet its layering conveys ideas that reward close viewing. His distinctive voice and visual language have drawn well-earned accolades,” stated Stephen Fleischman, MMoCA director. “We are fortunate to bring this exhibition to Madison and to continue our ongoing dialogue with the community and other museum visitors.”

Jeffrey Gibson
JEFFREY GIBSON (Mississippi Band Choctaw/ Cherokee) 
I PUT A SPELL ON YOU, 2015 
Repurposed punching bag, glass beads, artificial sinew, and steel
40 × 14 × 14 in. 
Collection of the Nasher Museum of Art 
at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
Museum purchase, 2015.11.1. 
Image courtesy of Jeffrey Gibson Studio and 
Roberts Projects, Los Angeles, California
Photograph by Peter Mauney

Jeffrey Gibson
JEFFREY GIBSON (Mississippi Band Choctaw/Cherokee)
OUR FREEDOM IS WORTH MORE THAN OUR PAIN, 2017
Repurposed punching bags, glass beads, artificial sinew, acrylic felt, steel, and brass
114 × 71 × 42 in
Collection of Vicki and Kent Logan
Image courtesy of Jeffrey Gibson Studio and
Roberts Projects, Los Angeles, California
Photograph by Peter Mauney

Jeffrey Gibson: Like a Hammer reveals how the artist draws upon his heritage and remixes his older works to create a distinct visual vocabulary in artworks that explore his multi-faceted identity and the history of modernism. Jeffrey Gibson derives inspiration from a multitude of sources, ranging from pan-Native American visual culture to his involvement as a young adult in the queer club scene. His interests and life experiences inform his vision of exuberant hybridity, in which glass beads and metal jingles merge with abstract geometric patterns and passages of text from song lyrics, poems, and the artist’s own voice.

"Like a Hammer will feature works from one of the most important periods of my career so far,” said Jeffrey Gibson. “The exhibition begins with artworks that I made just after nearly giving up making art altogether due to feeling misunderstood as an artist and struggling to establish a personal language that describes my experience without compromising it. The objects, sculptures and paintings I've made since 2011 document this journey of establishing my own forward-looking voice influenced by all that has come before me."

Jeffrey Gibson
JEFFREY GIBSON (Mississippi Band Choctaw/Cherokee)
All Things Big and Small, 2016
Acrylic paint and graphite on canvas
70 × 57 1/8 in. 
Collection of Lisa and Stuart Ginsberg
Image courtesy of Jeffrey Gibson Studio and 
Roberts Projects, Los Angeles, California
Photograph by Peter Mauney

Jeffrey Gibson
JEFFREY GIBSON (Mississippi Band Choctaw/Cherokee)
Thinking of You, 2015
Graphite and acrylic paint on rawhide over wood panel
18 x 32 x 2.5 in. 
Private collection, courtesy of Marc Straus Gallery, New York
Image courtesy of Jeffrey Gibson Studio and 
Roberts Projects, Los Angeles, California
Photograph by Peter Mauney

Jeffrey Gibson frequently explores colonialism and the post-colonial mindset, reflecting on how American Indian experiences parallel other civil rights movements. His work also revolves around universal themes of love, community, strength, vulnerability and survival. Through videos featuring interviews with the artist and related programming, visitors will be able to gain an enhanced understanding of Jeffrey Gibson’s distinctive and complex creative practice, as well as how it has evolved from series to series.

Jeffrey Gibson: Like a Hammer is organized by the Denver Art Museum and curated by John Lukavic, Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Native Arts. The exhibition travelled to just two additional venues (the Mississippi Museum of Art and the Seattle Art Museum). 

Exhibition Sponsors: Generous funding for MMoCA’s presentation of Jeffrey Gibson: Like a Hammer has been provided by the Pleasant T. Rowland Foundation; The DeAtley Family Foundation; The David and Paula Kraemer Fund; Mary Ellyn and Joe Sensenbrenner; Ellen Rosner and Paul J. Reckwerdt; Gina and Michael Carter; maiahaus; Betty Jane Perego Fund at the Madison Community Foundation; National Guardian Life Insurance Company; Sara Guyer and Scott Straus; Mark and Judy Bednar; Dan and Natalie Erdman; a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts; and MMoCA Volunteers.

MADISON MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART
227 State Street, Madison, WI 53703
www.mmoca.org