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Jaune Quick-to-See Smith:
Memory Map
Apr 19–Aug 2023


This exhibition is the first New York retrospective of Jaune Quick-to-See Smith (b. 1940, citizen of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Nation), an overdue but timely look at the work of a groundbreaking artist. Jaune Quick-to-See Smith: Memory Map brings together nearly five decades of Smith’s drawings, prints, paintings, and sculptures in the largest and most comprehensive showing of her career to date. 

Smith’s work engages with contemporary modes of making, from her idiosyncratic adoption of abstraction to her reflections on American Pop art and neo-expressionism. These artistic traditions are incorporated and reimagined with concepts rooted in Smith’s own cultural practice, reflecting her belief that her “life’s work involves examining contemporary life in America and interpreting it through Native ideology.” Employing satire and humor, Smith’s art tells stories that flip commonly held conceptions of historical narratives and illuminate absurdities in the formation of dominant culture. Smith’s approach importantly blurs categories and questions why certain visual languages attain recognition, historical privilege, and value.  

Across decades and mediums, Smith has deployed and reappropriated ideas of mapping, history, and environmentalism while incorporating personal and collective memories. The retrospective will offer new frameworks in which to consider contemporary Native American art and show how Smith has led and initiated some of the most pressing dialogues around land, racism, and cultural preservation—issues at the forefront of contemporary life and art today.

This exhibition is organized by Laura Phipps, Assistant Curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art, with Caitlin Chaisson, Curatorial Project Assistant.

Generous support for Jaune Quick-to-See Smith: Memory Map is provided by the Henry Luce Foundation, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, and the Whitney's National Committee. 

Major support is provided by Forge Project. 

Significant support is provided by The Keith Haring Foundation Exhibition Fund. 

Additional support is provided by Furthermore: a program of the J. M. Kaplan Fund. 



COVID-19 vaccination and face coverings are not required but strongly recommended. Book tickets in advance and review our visitor policies.

Sunrise

Sunset

A 30-second online art project:
Sara Ludy, Tumbleweeds

Learn more

Learn more at whitney.org/artport