My favorite artist discovery of the summer, possibly of the year, is Jeffrey Gibson. I first saw his work at the Whitney Biennial, where his striking, textile-based pieces were a focal point, easily standing out in a room filled with other amazing art.
I was thrilled to hear that he was having a big exhibition, "This is the Day," at The Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, and tried to go on opening weekend this summer. Alas, life got in the way and I wasn't able to attend until earlier this month. We had to make it a quick trip and move some other things around to make it work, but I'm so glad we did!
I selected a few highlights for my Central Texas Art Adventure post, but truly, the whole show was amazing. It was versatile - highlighting Gibson's beadwork, textiles, sculptures and even film, yet each piece was obviously and uniquely his and together, made a cohesive exhibition. "This is the Day" heavily incorporates song lyrics; its title is from a "The The" song, and it has its own playlist on Spotify.
Gibson incorporates Native American themes into his work, in ways that range from obvious to more subtle. His use of traditional Native American craftsmanship blended with modern themes and sensibilities (such as the song lyrics) really give you an idea of who this artist is, how his mind works and what he stands for, in addition to the aesthetics and artistic excellence found in the work he produces.
Here are just a few of my favorite scenes and pieces from the show, and they are even more amazing in person. Photos truly do not do justice to Gibson's work. The Austin show closes September 29, but if you see his name pop up at a showcase near you, try not to miss it.