When I Remember I See Red: American Indian Art and Activism in California

Univ. of California. 2019. 176p. ed. by Frank LaPena with others. ISBN 9780520300811. $50. FINE ARTS
The artists represented in this catalog share a spirit of activism fueled by anger, tempered with a deep respect for the artistic traditions of their ancestral heritage. They are Native Americans with roots in California, a diverse group to represent the region’s myriad tribal groups with a 15,000-year history in the region. The catalog accompanies a show mounted by Sacramento’s Crocker Art Museum. Fifty working artists are illustrated, each provided a brief profile with background, quotes, influences, and at least one color image of their work. Included are the elders: Frank LaPena, Karen Nobel, Fritz Scholder, Brian Tripp, and Frank Tuttle, as well as lesser-known, mid-career artists. While the directory of biographical sketches forms the core of this volume as a record of current artists, a time line and seven essays by scholars, artists, and curators provide historical context and commentary on the evolution of the Native American art movement in California.
VERDICT Former governor Jerry Brown’s foreword sets the tone for this body of work, which expresses tragic loss coupled with inspiration and fresh perspectives for the future. Beautifully designed and amply illustrated, this accessible catalog will be welcomed by art enthusiasts beyond California’s borders.
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