The Artsy Vanguard 2020: Eric-Paul Riege

Shannon Lee
Sep 11, 2020 8:00PM

Eric-Paul Riege

B. 1994, Na’nízhoozhí, Gallup, New Mexico. Lives and works in Gallup.

Eric-Paul Riege immerses his audiences in the communal spirit of his Diné (or Navajo) heritage through elaborately woven large-scale sculptures, wearable art, and durational performances. Crafted primarily from wool, his tapestries, headdresses, and garments sway hypnotically from walls and ceilings, and are often worn by Riege himself. The artist invites his audience to touch and interact with his works, and to feel welcome in this intimate world of tradition, ceremony, and shared experience.

Eric-Paul Riege, my god, YE'ii [1], 2018. Courtesy of the artist.

Eric-Paul Riege, dah ‘iistl’o ́ [loomz], weaving dance (fig.1), 2018. Photo by Rapheal Begay. Courtesy of artist.


Informed by the Diné philosophy of Hózhó, Riege’s works express a way of being that, according to his artist statement, “encompasses beauty, balance, and goodness in all things physical and spiritual and its bearing on everyday experience.”

Riege had his first solo museum presentation in 2019 at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami. Titled “Hólǫ́—it xistz,” the exhibition featured a series of weavings paying homage to the generations of female weavers that came before him. Riege treated these objects as living things, requiring audiences to acknowledge their presence.

Despite his youth, Riege already boasts a promising career. Prior to his show at ICA Miami, he was a highlight of the SITElines.2018 Biennial at SITE Santa Fe. He was also included in the recent group exhibition “12 New Mexico Artists to Know Now 2020” at Southwest Contemporary in Santa Fe. In the months ahead, Riege will have solo shows at Ingham Chapman Gallery and Etiquette in New Mexico, along with performances at Settlement in Plymouth, England, and at Prospect New Orleans’s fifth edition, “Yesterday we said tomorrow.” Riege will also be part of the group exhibition “Larger Than Memory” at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona.

The Artsy Vanguard 2020

The Artsy Vanguard 2020 is our annual list of the most promising artists shaping the future of contemporary art. This year, artists are organized into two categories: Newly Emerging, which presents artists who’ve gained momentum in the past year, showing at leading institutions and galleries; and Getting Their Due, which identifies artists who have persevered for decades, yet only recently received the spotlight they deserve. Now in its third edition, the feature was developed by the Artsy staff, in collaboration with our network of international curators and art professionals. Explore more of The Artsy Vanguard 2020.

Shannon Lee

Header and thumbnail image, from left to right: Eric-Paul Riege, “regalia for Hólo ́–it xistz and ...Son, yáázh, mijo...,” 2019. Photo by Silvia Ros. Courtesy of ICA Miami; Eric-Paul Riege, “my god, YE'ii [2],” 2018. Courtesy of the artist; Portrait of Eric-Paul Riege by Chris Carter. Courtesy of the artist and ICA Miami; Eric-Paul Riege, “Hólǫ́ —it xistz,” 2019. Photo by Fredrik Nilsen Studio. Courtesy of ICA Miami.

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