Navajo weaving contemporary history | George Morrison stamps

Two Navajo artists living in New Mexico who have broken away from that slice of weaving history reach backward and forward in time, through pre-European-contact patterns and across centuries toward contemporary self-expression. 

Ephraim Anderson, or Zefren-M, as they like to be known, is from a line of weavers in which techniques carefully developed within the family were handed down from mother to daughter. Because they were born (and presented as) male, Zefren-M’s grandmother did not, originally, view them as an appropriate recipient of this knowledge. “If I had worn a dress and acted like a girl, my grandmother would probably have taught me to weave,” they said.

Zefren-M with “Mother Earth and Father Sky Entwined” in their home weaving studio (photo Susannah Abbey/Hyperallergic)
Consequently, both Zefren-M and Muskett prefer to work with their own network of collectors who appreciate the skill and historical significance of what they do, and with the markets such as the Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market and the Southwest Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA) Santa Fe Indian Market, where people can closely examine and feel the cloth. 
Seeing the fabrics being worn, used, and appreciated are more direct ways of experiencing them as integral parts of Navajo life and history. 
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George Morrison, the Ojibwe Modernist Who Defined Space With a Horizon Line

The artist’s work features heavily in Twin Cities museums, but new USPS stamps depicting his distinctive landscapes may help broaden his legacy.
George Morrison, "Lake Superior Landscape" (1981) (all images courtesy Minneapolis Institute of Art)

This spring, the US Postal Service will begin circulating five new stamps featuring the landscape paintings of George Morrison — a 20th-century Minnesotan Ojibwe artist whose work has been associated with Abstract Expressionism, Regionalism, and Surrealism, but whose oeuvre cannot be neatly summed up by any one of those categories. His work features heavily in Twin Cities museums, but those in the New York area may be pleased to know his 1956 painting “The Antagonist” current hangs in the permanent collection exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art; still, his name has remained less prevalent outside Minnesota. Despite this, Morrison was by no means an artist circumscribed by where he was from or the identity others expected him to perform, and his recognition by the USPS might begin to broaden his legacy. VIA

My friend Suzie is George's niece! This is BIG NEWS! TLH

 

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