Indian, Indio, Indigenous 1992

Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Indian, Indio, Indigenous, 1992; Museum Purchase: Members’ Acquisition Fund

Jaune Quick-to-See Smith refers to paintings like Indian, Indio, Indigenous, as narrative landscapes. They evoke the visible topography of the landscape as well as the life and history encompassed within it.

For Indian, Indio, Indigenous, she collaged an array of materials onto her canvas, including striped and polka-dotted fabrics; the masthead of her reservation’s newspaper, Char-Koosta; parts of a U.S. map; and a comic strip. She juxtaposed these collaged elements with blocks of stained or roughly brushed and dripped paint. 

This painting draws a connection between the destruction of the environment and the eroding of Native American culture and the land through Euro-American influence. 

Smith’s sardonic,  hand-written inscriptions, such as “It takes hard work to keep racism alive" and  "Money is green: it takes precedence over nature" mock this ambivalence. Conversely, the lyrical pictographs of a bear, deer, coyote, and flower that she pasted onto the painting express her admiration for the entire natural world. The drips may allude to tears or blood.