This major exhibition is devoted to one of today’s leading artists, whose multidisciplinary practice combines aspects of traditional Indigenous art and culture with a modernist visual vocabulary. Born in Colorado in 1972, Jeffrey Gibson is of Cherokee heritage and a member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw. His vibrant work, which is represented in more than twenty permanent collections across the United States, is a call for Indigenous empowerment as well as queer visibility and environmental sustainability.
The Body Electric presents his recent paintings, sculpture, video, and installations, along with a large site-specific mural THE LAND IS SPEAKING |ARE YOU LISTENING. The exhibition’s title is inspired by a song written for the 1980 movie musical Fame, which drew from Walt Whitman’s poem “I Sing the Body Electric” from his 1855 collection Leaves of Grass. The lyrics reverently acknowledge our place in the natural world while honoring the universality of endings and beginnings.
Gibson holds an MA from the Royal College of Art in London and a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is currently a visiting artist at Bard College in New York. He is represented in the permanent collections of museums including the Denver Art Museum, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Portland Museum of Art, High Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Seattle Art Museum, and Smithsonian American Art Museum. Gibson is a 2019 MacArthur Fellow.
Organized by SITE Santa Fe and curated by Brandee Caoba
Jeffrey Gibson: The Body Electric is made possible through the generous support of the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Foundation.
This exhibition is part of the Tennessee Triennial for Contemporary Art, a program of Tri-Star Arts.
Education and Community Engagement supporter
Spanish translation sponsor
Supported in part by the
2023 Frist Gala Patrons
Presented in part by
Jeffrey Gibson. Wallpaper, 2022. Image courtesy of Jeffrey Gibson and SITE Santa Fe. Photo: Shayla Blatchford
Jeffrey Gibson. My Joy My Joy My Joy, 2021. Acrylic felt, polyester fiberfill, pyrite, glass beads, sea glass, vinyl sequins, white abalone shell, nylon thread, aluminum sculpture wire, and artificial sinew; 16 1/2 x 13 1/4 x 22 in. Private collection. Image courtesy of Jeffrey Gibson Studio. Photo: Max Yawney
Jeffrey Gibson. SHE KNOWS OTHER WORLDS, 2019. Acrylic on canvas, glass beads and artificial sinew inset into custom wood frame; 82 x 74 in. Forge Project Collection, traditional lands of the Muh-he-con-ne-ok. Image courtesy of Jeffrey Gibson Studio. Photo: John Lusis
Jeffrey Gibson. Large Figure 1, 2022. Fringe, glass beads, artificial sinew, tin cones, sea glass, acrylic felt, steel armature, and powder coat varnish; 71 x 31 x 24 in. Courtesy of the artist and SITE Santa Fe. Image courtesy of Jeffrey Gibson Studio. Photo: Brian Barlow
Jeffrey Gibson. SHE NEVER DANCES ALONE, 2021. Acrylic on canvas, archival pigment on cotton, archival pigment on rice paper, inset in custom wood frame, glass beads, and artificial sinew; 87 3/8 x 79 5/16 x 2 9/16 in. Gochman Family Collection. Image courtesy of Jeffrey Gibson Studio. Photo: Max Yawney
Jeffrey Gibson. WAR IS NOT THE ANSWER FEEL SOMETHING REAL, 2020.Repurposed punching bag, acrylic felt, glass beads, and artificial sinew; 57 x 15 x 15 in. Gochman Family Collection. Image courtesy of Jeffrey Gibson Studio. Photo: Shayla Blatchford
Installation view of Jeffrey Gibson: The Body Electric, SITE Santa Fe, 2022. Image courtesy of SITE Santa Fe. Photo: Shayla Blatchford
Jeffrey Gibson. To Feel Myself Beloved on the Earth, 2020. Courtesy of the artist and SITE Santa Fe. Image courtesy of SITE Santa Fe. Photo: Shayla Blatchford
Jeffrey Gibson. Installation view of Midnight Moment—She Never Dances Alone, 2020. On view at SITE Santa Fe, 2022. Image courtesy of SITE Santa Fe. Photo: Shayla Blatchford