Urgent Museum Notice

Indian, Indio, Indigenous

Close up of Indian, Indio, Indigenous

A horizontal canvas combines collaged paper, such as a scrap of a U.S. map, comic strip, and pictographs; cloth swatches; scrawled and dripped paint; and phrases like “It takes hard work to keep racism alive” and “Oh! Zone.” The work’s title appears in red paint right of center.

Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Indian, Indio, Indigenous, 1992; Oil and collage on canvas, 60 x 100 in.; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Museum purchase: Members' Acquisition Fund; © Jaune Quick-to-See Smith

Indian, Indio, Indigenous
Jaune Quick-to-See Smith

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.

Artwork Details

  • Artist

    Jaune Quick-to-See Smith
  • Title

    Indian, Indio, Indigenous
  • Date

    1992
  • Medium

    Collage, Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions

    60 x 100 in. (diptych)
  • Donor Credit

    Museum Purchase: Members’ Acquisition Fund
  • Photo Credit

    © Jaune Quick-to-See Smith
  • On Display

    Yes