Natalie Ball: bilwi naats Ga’niipci
Nov 17, 2023–Feb 19, 2024

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Natalie Ball: bilwi naats Ga’niipci  is Natalie Ball's (b. 1980, Portland, Oregon) first solo exhibition at a New York museum. The exhibition presents a group of never-before-seen sculptural assemblages that deepen and destabilize understandings of Indigenous life in the United States. Drawing from various sources and including found, hunted, purchased, and gifted objects, Ball explores how the lives and meanings of materials interconnect with the artist’s sense of self through the layering of quilt tops and T-shirts; animal hides and bones; synthetic hair, shoes, beads, and newspapers, among other commercially produced items.

Ball, who is Black, Modoc, and Klamath, lives and works in her ancestral homelands in Southern Oregon/Northern California, where she serves as an elected official on the Klamath Tribes Tribal Council. The exhibition’s title, which translates to “we smell like the outside,” is a variation on an expression that Ball associates with her childhood and family in both Black and Indigenous spaces. With this phrase she highlights her artistic aims: to channel her ancestors while reflecting her lived experience, including as a future ancestor.

This exhibition will be on view in the Museum’s Lobby gallery, which is accessible to the public free of charge, as part of the Whitney Museum’s enduring commitment to support and showcase the most recent work of emerging artists.

This exhibition is organized by Jennie Goldstein, Jennifer Rubio Associate Curator of the Collection, with Rose Pallone, Curatorial Assistant.


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