New large-scale works by Julie Buffalohead premiere at the Minneapolis Institute of Art
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New large-scale works by Julie Buffalohead premiere at the Minneapolis Institute of Art
Julie Buffalohead, American (Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma), born 1972. White Savior Complex, 2019. Courtesy of the artist and Bockley Gallery.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN.- The Minneapolis Institute of Art is presenting a solo exhibition of new work by St. Paul-based artist Julie Buffalohead. “Storytelling: Julie Buffalohead” unveils three large-scale diptychs—each approximately 12 feet tall by 4 1/2 feet long—and two smaller works, each providing a visual narrative told by animal characters with personhood, agency, and individuality. The exhibition opened November 23 in Gallery 255 and runs through September 6, 2020.

Like all great storytellers, Buffalohead connects the mythical with the ordinary and the imaginary with the real, offering a space to which viewers can bring their own experiences. As the viewer enters her worlds, she coaxes them to discover additional layers of meaning—social, historical, political, personal—using metaphor, wisdom, and wit.

The show was curated by Jill Ahlberg Yohe, associate curator of Native American art, and Josephine Lampone, media and technology fellow.

“This exhibition offers new monumental works on paper that are especially powerful, as their scale quite literally immerses you in a story,” Ahlberg Yohe said. “Julie Buffalohead is known for using characters to reveal layers of meaning—personal, social, political.”

Added Lampone, “Her work openly embraces nuance, complexity, and contradiction rather than simplifying it or shying away from it.”

Born in 1972 and an enrolled member of the Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma, Buffalohead is a recipient of numerous fellowships and grants, including the Guggenheim Fine Arts Fellowship, the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant, and the McKnight Foundation Fellowship for Visual Arts. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at Para Site in Hong Kong, the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indian and Western Art in Indianapolis, the Carl N. Gorman Museum in Davis, California, The Plains Art Museum in Fargo, and Artfit Exhibition Space in Phoenix, among others.

She has had solo exhibitions at the Rockbund Art Museum in Shanghai, Denver Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe, Minnesota Museum of American Art in St. Paul, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in New York City, and Bockley Gallery.

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