Cannupa Hanska Luger: New Myth
September 10–October 23, 2021
View the virtual tour here.
Garth Greenan Gallery is pleased to announce Cannupa Hanska Luger: New Myth, an exhibition of new, never-before-exhibited ceramic and mixed-media sculptures by Cannupa Hanska Luger, along with a new three-channel video from the artist’s ongoing Future Ancestral Technologies project. Opening on Friday, September 10, 2021, the exhibition is the artist’s first with the gallery.
Working in ceramic, textiles, and mixed media, Luger crafts monstrous figures and vividly colored weapons that fill the gallery like remnants from an epic battle. Giant snake heads, thick black muscle fibers spilling out of their severed necks, rear their fangs shaped like the nozzle on a gas pump. The head of a three-eyed monster, Greed, lies on its side, its acid yellow tongue lolling out uselessly. A twisted hand, chopped off at the wrist, has its title, Ruin, tattooed across its knuckles in blood-red pigment, golden bite marks visible beneath a layer of matted blue hair.
Monster archetypes cut across cultural boundaries, continents, and time periods. “Today,” Luger says, “we are once again plagued by monsters.” In these works, Luger creates a new mythology, manifesting societal ills as corporeal monsters and illustrating their destruction – complete with bloodied weapons – to “recognize the agency we have to slay our present-day monsters.”
The exhibition also includes regalia for two heroic slayer figures and a three-channel video installment in Luger’s Future Ancestral Technologies, an ongoing project to create an immersive world of Indigenous science fiction. Luger describes the project as a methodology, a practice, and a way of future dreaming that harnesses the power of science fiction to shape collective thinking and reimagine the future on a global scale. Through installation, video, and land-based work, the series develops an ongoing narrative in which Indigenous people develop sustainable, migration-based technology to live nomadically in hyper-attunement to land and water. Within the limitless time jumps of Future Ancestral Technologies, Luger challenges our collective thinking to imagine a post-capitalist, post-colonial future where humans restore their bonds with the earth and each other, asking us to consider how we will dream of our collective future.
Born in 1979 on the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota, Cannupa Hanska Luger is an enrolled member of the Three Affiliated Tribes of Fort Berthold and is of Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara, Lakota, and European descent. In 2011, he received a BFA in Studio Ceramics from the Institute of American Indian Arts.
Luger has received numerous awards such as the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts Multicultural Fellowship Award, 2015; the Native Arts & Cultures Foundation National Artist Fellowship Award, 2016; the Museum of Arts and Design Burke Prize, 2018; the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant, 2019; a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, 2020; and a United States Artists Fellowship Award for Craft, 2021. He has been the subject of more than 21 solo exhibitions and has participated in over 110 group exhibitions at venues such as Art Mûr (2014, Montreal), Princeton University Art Museum (2018, Princeton, NJ), Washington Project for the Arts (2017, Washington, D.C.), Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (2018, 2019, Bentonville, AR), Gardiner Museum (2019, Toronto), Orenda Gallery (2017, Paris), the Autry Museum (2017, Los Angeles), the Museum of Arts and Design (2018, 2019, New York), and the Denver Art Museum (2021), among others.
His works are featured in the collections of many museums, including: the North American Native Museum (Zürich, Switzerland); the Denver Art Museum; the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (Santa Fe, NM); the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art (Norman, OK); the Luciano Benetton Collection: Imago Mundi (Treviso, Italy); the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, CT); and the Conley Gallery, California State University (Fresno, CA).
Garth Greenan Gallery is committed to mounting important exhibitions and maintaining a high standard of integrity and connoisseurship. It champions the work of established artists whose work deserves greater recognition, many of whom emerged during the 1960s and 1970s. By re-presenting and recontextualizing their work, the gallery questions the prevailing narrative of contemporary art history and encourages its revision.
Currently, Garth Greenan Gallery represents 23 artists of different generations. The gallery handles works in a variety of media, including painting, sculpture, drawing, and printmaking. Each year, the gallery presents seven exhibitions, many of which are accompanied by publications.