Accola Griefen Fine Art and Minus Space are pleased to present the three-woman exhibition Blanket Statements: Works by Gina Adams, Maria Hupfield & Marie Watt. This is the first collaborative project by the galleries and it will take place at Minus Space’s location in Dumbo, Brooklyn.
Artists Gina Adams, Maria Hupfield, and Marie Watt are of indigenous descent and fabric plays a significant role in their respective practices. No other blanket statements can be made, however, about the work of these three individuals. Each has a unique approach to her materials, as well as the confluence of tradition and innovation. Adams, Hupfield, and Watt make work that resists simplified interpretation.
Gina Adams draws upon cultural practices passed down from her ancestors, as well as a family history of forced assimilation. Her Broken Treaty Quilt Series consists of restructured antique quilts sewn with words from broken treaties between Native American tribes and the United States government. Similarly, Marie Watt’s work stems from history, biography, Iroquois proto-feminism, and indigenous principles. Her large format works are commonly made in sewing circles, public events in which fellowship and storytelling can be as important as the resulting object. Felt is a favored material of Maria Hupfield, “a maker, a mover, a connector, an Anishinaabe-kwe and a member of Wasauksing First Nation.” (Art in America, October 2017). Hupfield’s performance-based photographic works are disrupted by felt collages and address the issue of self-definition. The applied fabric acts as both as a shield and a screen, repelling consumption of the body and of nation, and resisting specificity and oversimplification.
Gina Adams is a descendant of both indigenous and colonial Americans. Adams' cross-media, hybrid studio work includes quilt-based work, sculpture, ceramics, painting, printmaking, and drawing. Her work has been exhibited extensively throughout the US and resides in many public and private collections. The noted international art critic Lucy Lippard wrote the introduction to Adams’ Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art exhibition Its Honor Is Here Pledged in 2015. In 2016, Adams was a SARF Smithsonian Artist Research Fellow and exhibited in Boulder Colorado at Naropa University’s White Cube Gallery, where she is a Faculty in Visual Arts. In 2018, she participated in the Kohler Arts/Industry Residency and the Dartmouth College Residence Program, where works from her Broken Treaty Quilt Series were also exhibited (catalog available). In recent years Adams' work has been featured in publications including The New Yorker, Hyperallergic, and Huffington Post.
Based in Brooklyn, Maria Hupfield is from the Anishinaabek Nation and a member of Wasauksing First Nation, Ontario, Canada. Her work is currently traveling in the solo exhibit The One Who Keeps on Giving, a production of The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto, in partnership with Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge; Galerie de l’UQAM, Montréal; Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery, Halifax; and Canadian Cultural Centre, Paris. As a recipient of the Grafly Commission, The Ulrich Museum will mount a solo exhibition of Hupfield’s work in spring 2019. Her work has travelled with the exhibition Beat Nation: Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture, and was shown in New York at The Kitchen, BRIC, The Bronx Museum, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, Museum of Arts and Design, and SITE Santa Fe 2016, with performances at Gibney Dance, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and Brooklyn Museum. Together with artist Jason Lujan, she co-owns Native Art Department International in New York. She is the first Indigenous Artist in Resident at International Studio & Curatorial Program in Brooklyn and was included in the summer Triangle Residency Program. In 2018. she was selected for the prestigious Hnatyshyn Foundation award for outstanding achievement by a Canadian mid-career artist.
Marie Watt is a member of the Seneca Nation of Indians. Watt attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and received fellowships from the Joan Mitchell Foundation and Anonymous Was a Woman Foundation. In 2015, Watt exhibited at SITE Santa Fe and received a permanent public commissioned from the United States State Department’s Art in Embassies program in 2016. Her work is in private and public collections, including Denver Art Museum, Eiteljorg Museum, Facebook, Microsoft Collection, Missoula Art Museum, Montclair Art Museum, Museum of Fine Arts (Santa Fe), National Gallery of Canada, and Portland Art Museum (Oregon), Seattle Art Museum, Smithsonian American Art Museum/Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, Tacoma Art Museum, and the US Department of State. Watt lives and works in Portland, Oregon.