Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist

  • Kay WalkingStick|New Mexico Desert, 2011|Oil on wood panel|40 x 80 x 2 in.|Purchased through a special gift from the Louise Ann Williams Endowment, 2013|National Museum of the American Indian 26/9250
  • Kay WalkingStick|Venere Alpina, 1997|Oil on canvas (left), steel mesh over acrylic, wax, and plastic stones (right)| 32 x 64 in.|Collection of the artist|Photo: Lee Stalsworth, Fine Art through Photography, LLC
  • Kay WalkingStick|Chief Joseph series, 1974–76|Acrylic, ink, and wax on canvas|20 x 15 in. each. (27 panels of a 36-panel series)|National Museum of the American Indian 26/5366.000–026
  • Kay WalkingStick|Over Lolo Pass, 2003|Charcoal, gouache, and encaustic on paper|25 x 50 in.|Collection of the artist, courtesy of June Kelly Gallery|Photo: Becket Logan
  • Kay WalkingStick|Going to the Sun Road, 2011|Oil and white gold leaf collage on wood panel|24 x 48 in.|Collection of the artist, courtesy of June Kelly Gallery|Photo: Becket Logan
  • Kay WalkingStick|ACEA V, 2003|Gouache and gold acrylic on paper|19 x 38 in.|Collection of the artist |Photo: Becket Logan
  • Kay WalkingStick|A Sensual Suggestion, 1974|Acrylic on canvas|42 x 48 in.|Collection of the artist|Photo: Lee Stalsworth, Fine Art through Photography, LLC
  • Kay WalkingStick|Me and My Neon Box, 1971|Acrylic on canvas|54 x 60 in.|Collection of the artist |Photo: Lee Stalsworth, Fine Art through Photography, LLC
  • Kay WalkingStick|Untitled, 1977|Charcoal on paper|20 x 20 in.|Collection of the artist|Photo: Lee Stalsworth, Fine Art through Photography, LLC
  • Kay WalkingStick|Montauk II (Dusk), 1983|Acrylic, wax, and ink on canvas|56 x 56 x 4.25 in.|Collection of the artist|Photo: Lee Stalsworth, Fine Art through Photography, LLC

VENUES

National Museum of the American Indian, Washington, D.C.: November 2015–September 2016

Heard Museum, Phoenix, AZ: October 15, 2016–January 8, 2017

Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, OH: February 11–May 7, 2017

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo, MI: June 17–September 10, 2017

Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, OK: October 5, 2017–January 7, 2018

Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, NJ: February 3–June 17, 2018

Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist surveys the career of one of today’s most accomplished Native American artists and a leading practitioner of contemporary landscape painting. Over the course of five decades, WalkingStick has avidly explored her own hybrid cultural identity, engaging Native history along with feminism, Minimalism, and other key art historical movements. She has become particularly renowned for her majestic and sensual landscapes, which imbue natural scenery with the charge of personal and collective memory.

The exhibition reveals WalkingStick’s diverse approaches to painting over the decades—from graphic figurative work to lushly layered expressionism—and includes a range of her signature diptychs. Co-curators Kathleen Ash-Milby, Associate Curator at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), and David Penney, NMAI’s Associate Director of Museum Scholarship, have selected some 60 of the artist’s most notable works, drawn from public and private collections. In addition to tracing WalkingStick’s artistic journey, the exhibition engages issues of race, identity, and national history, which are key themes not only to contemporary Native art but to American culture at large. This touring retrospective is the first to fully examine WalkingStick’s singular career, demonstrating the breadth of her achievements.

PUBLICATION

KWS-cover-web

Authors: Kathleen Ash-Milby, David Penney, Editors. Texts by Margaret Archuleta, Kathleen Ash-Milby, Jessica L. Horton, Robert Houle, Lucy R. Lippard, Miles R. Miller, Kate Morris, Judith Ostrowitz, David W. Penney, Lisa Roberts Seppi.
Publisher: National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, 2015
Dimensions: 9 ¾ x 11 ½ in.
Format: Hardcover, 208 pages, 165 color illustrations
ISBN: 978-1-58834-510-3

CURATOR(S)

Kathleen Ash-Milby is an associate curator at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) in New York. A member of the Navajo Nation, she has organized numerous exhibitions, including C. Maxx Stevens: House of Memory (2012), HIDE: Skin as Material and Metaphor (2010), and Off the Map: Landscape in the Native Imagination (2007), and was co-director of the American Indian Community House gallery in New York City from 2000–05. She served on the boards of the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective, American Indian Community House, and Native American Art Association.

David Penney is the associate director of museum scholarship at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI). Formerly the vice president of exhibitions and collections strategies and curator of Native American art at the Detroit Institute of Arts, he is the curator and catalogue author for Indigenous Beauty: Masterworks of American Indian Art from the Diker Collection (2015), co-curator fro the exhibition Before and After the Horizon: Anishinaabe Artists of the Great Lakes (2013) for the NMAI and the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the author of North American Indian Art (2004).

CREDIT

The exhibition is organized by the American Federation of Arts and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.