The Artsy Vanguard 2019: Jeffrey Gibson

Artsy Editorial
Sep 16, 2019 6:19PM

Jeffrey Gibson in his Hudson, New York studio by Alex John Beck for Artsy.


Jeffrey Gibson’s punching-bag sculptures, kaleidoscopic paintings, and mixed-media works incorporate elements of traditional Native American dress and modern Western fashion. The Choctaw and Cherokee artist has become a contemporary art heavyweight over the last three years.

Last fall, Gibson had his first solo show with his new New York gallery, Sikkema Jenkins & Co., which showcased large-scale paintings of pointed phrases rendered in stylized text and popping hues, framed with traditional glass beads. The show coincided with two traveling institutional exhibitions of his work, which were collectively shown at six museums across the United States. Additionally, Gibson had a solo exhibition at the New Museum this year. He is also represented by Kavi Gupta in Chicago and Roberts Projects in Los Angeles.

The artist has become a fixture on the -ennial circuit, with works in the current Whitney Biennial, the 2017 Desert X biennial, SITElines.2016, and the third edition of the Prospect New Orleans triennial. His visually seductive and thematically rich works have been acquired by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Newark Museum; and the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, among others.

Jeffrey Gibson
Kavi Gupta

“What makes Jeffrey’s work so inspiring is how it creates a safe space to have difficult conversations, and prompts us all to center discourse on historically marginalized communities,” said John Lukavic, curator of Native arts at the Denver Art Museum, who curated the institution’s presentation of the traveling show “Jeffrey Gibson: Like a Hammer” last year. “His work is also innovative in the way he seamlessly and respectfully blends Indigenous and Western art histories to create something entirely new.”

Artsy Editorial