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When I Remember I See Red: American Indian Art and Activism in California features contemporary art by First Californians and other American Indian artists with strong ties to the state. Spanning the past five decades, the exhibition includes more than sixty-five works in various media, from painting, sculpture, prints, and photography, to installation and video. More than forty artists are represented, among them pioneers such as Rick Bartow, George Blake, Dalbert Castro, Frank Day, Harry Fonseca, Frank LaPena, Jean LaMarr, James Luna, Karen Noble, Fritz Scholder, Brian Tripp, and Franklin Tuttle, as well as emerging and mid-career artists. Taking cues from their forebears, members of the younger generation often combine art and activism, embracing issues of identity, politics, and injustice to produce innovative—and frequently enlightening—work. The exhibition, along with the accompanying catalogue, transcends borders, with some California artists working outside the state, and several artists of non-California tribes living and creating within its boundaries. Diverse cultural influences coupled with the extraordinary dissemination of images made possible by technology have led to new forms of expression, making When I Remember I See Red a richly layered experience.
Published in association with the Crocker Art Museum
Exhibition dates: Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento: October 20, 2019–January 26, 2020 Institute of American Indian Arts, Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Santa Fe: August 14, 2020–January 3, 2021 Autry Museum of the American West, Los Angeles: July 18, 2021–February 27, 2022
About the Author
Frank LaPena was an artist, curator, poet, and scholar who was at the center of California Indian art for six decades. He was Professor Emeritus at Sacramento State University.
Mark Dean Johnson is Professor of Art at San Francisco State University. He is also an artist, curator, and scholar.
Kristina Perea Gilmore formerly held the position of Associate Curator at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, California.
"From [Frank] LaPena’s lithograph “History of California Indians” to Linda Aguilar’s basket decorated with shells, bingo markers, and cut-up credit cards, the images challenge stereotypes in astonishing ways." — Alta: The Journal of California
"When I Remember I See Red: American Indian Art and Activism in California represents an important confluence of moments, a bridge across generations of artists, thinkers, and cultural practitioners who have been engaged in a conversation that is embodied, multiple, and always happening."
— Native American and Indigenous Studies
"This sumptuously illustrated catalog and the Crocker Art Museum’s glorious exhibition for which it stands are eminent introductions to the astonishing range of contemporary California Indian art and its makers, yet even more significantly, together they retrospectively reveal and announce a landmark event in the history of American art at large. . . .The book displays the magnificent and persuasive evidence of where American Indian art has most fully matured on its own terms." — American Indian Culture and Research Journal