Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Art & Art History

First Advisor

Kira van Lil

Second Advisor

Claire Farago

Third Advisor

James Córdova

Abstract

This study aims to address how Fritz Scholder's Indian Series and James Luna's performance pieces- The Artifact Piece , Half Mexican/ Half Mexican , Indian Tails , Take a Picture with a Real Indian and Emendatio - contributed to a larger study of identity and presence that contemporary Native American artists of the twenty-first century strive to recognize. Scholder's radical approach to portraying the Native American figure in painting during the mid-twentieth century altered the expectations reserved for Native American artists. Through this change arose a desire for Native artists to not only utilize painting to express their modern existence, but embrace performance and installation. As a performance and installation artist of the late twentieth-century to present, James Luna has sought to disavow the notion of authenticity and instill identity through his contemporary experiences as a Native American artist. I examine how this radical and abrupt shift in Native American artistry inspired currently practicing contemporary Native American artists to invoke sexuality, colonialism, violence and identity through new mediums.

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