Jeffrey Gibson will represent the United States at La Biennale di Venezia
Jeffrey Gibson will represent the United States at La Biennale di Venezia, the 60th International Art Exhibition. Celebrated for an artistic practice that combines American, Indigenous, and Queer histories with influences from music and pop culture, Gibson creates a dynamic visual language that reflects the inherent diversity and hybridity of American culture. Using abundant colour, complex pattern, and text, he invites deep reflection on identity, inspires empathy, and advocates for a widening of access to democracy and freedom for all.
The 2024 U.S. Pavilion is co-commissioned by Kathleen Ash-Milby, Curator of Native American Art at the Portland Art Museum and a member of the Navajo Nation, Louis Grachos, Phillips Executive Director of SITE Santa Fe, and Abigail Winograd, independent curator, and is co-curated by Ash-Milby and Winograd. A member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and of Cherokee descent, Gibson will be the first Indigenous artist to represent the U.S. solo in the 129-year history of the Biennale. This exhibition is also the first to be co-commissioned and co-curated by a Native American curator.
“Throughout his career, Jeffrey has challenged us to look at the world differently through his innovative and vibrant work,” said Ash-Milby. “His inclusive and collaborative approach is a powerful commentary on the influence and persistence of Native American cultures within the United States and globally, making him the ideal representative for the United States at this moment.”
“Having recently collaborated with Jeffrey to present a solo exhibition in Santa Fe, we are honored to continue championing his dynamic, insightful, and timely work—now on an international stage.” said Grachos. “This collaboration builds upon SITE Santa Fe’s long history as a platform for artistic innovation, providing artists with the support and resources they need to realize bold and ambitious visions.”
“I have long believed in the ability of Jeffrey's work to be a force for positive change and to create the possibility of a radically inclusive future,” said Winograd. “It is my hope that as a global audience experiences his work through the Biennale, they will also find it to be a source of joy and healing, something sorely needed in a world driven by conflict and crisis. I couldn't be more thrilled to be working with Jeffrey and this team to share his work more broadly.”
“Jeffrey’s work embodies the aspirations of the Portland Art Museum’s program to reveal the beauty and complexities of the world, and creates a deeper understanding of our shared humanity,” said Brian Ferriso, Director of the Portland Art Museum. “We are incredibly honored to help bring his vision to an international audience through this presentation at the Venice Biennale.”
For the U.S. Pavilion, Gibson will activate the interior and exterior of the U.S. Pavilion with a series of new and recent works that invite reflection on individual and collective identities including sculpture, paintings, multimedia works and a site-specific installation activating the pavilion’s courtyard. In conjunction with the presentation at the U.S. Pavilion and in partnerships with the Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico and Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, Portland and SITE will also develop year-long educational programming. They will focus on connecting Indigenous, Native American and international undergraduate humanities students and graduate art students, including bringing students from the Institute of American Indian Arts to Venice for a summer arts program and organizing a fall 2024 convening for students, scholars, and the public.
The 2024 U.S. Pavilion: Jeffrey Gibson is made possible by The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State.