NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN PRESENTS FIRST MAJOR RETROSPECTIVE OF ARTIST ROBERT HOULE
The Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., will open "Robert Houle: Red is Beautiful”.
It is the first major retrospective of the work of Robert Houle (Saulteaux Anishinaabe, Sandy Bay Indian village in Canada, b. 1947) and covers more than 50 years of his career. A colorist working primarily in oils, Houle's works have combined his indigenous cultural heritage with Euro-American ways of making and thinking about art, a result he calls "transcultural." The exhibition includes large installations, paintings, videos, mixed media sculptures and drawings created between 1970 and 2021.
The exhibition is divided into themes that further explore Houle's work at various points in his career. These include "Beyond Historical Painting," which sees Houle inserting an indigenous perspective into historical events, and "Sacred Geometry," where the artist's work fuses modernist painting and ancestral design to create powerful expressions of emotion. In "Residential School Years," Houle explores his childhood memories of the trauma he experienced while at Sandy Bay Residential School. Other themes examine indigenous sovereignty and its defense, and the spiritual legacy of the Anishinaabe people.