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Native American Art

Cannupa Hanska Luger
Awá Ahbáaxi and Mirí Aráda , 2021
Wool surplus industrial felt, afghans, ceramic swords
Dimensions variable
Courtesy of the artist and Garth Greenan Gallery, New York

Native American Art is created by the original inhabitants of what are now the United States and Canada, as well as the works of modern artists whose practices draw from their Native American or First Nations backgrounds. This includes a wide range of visual art styles, such as pottery, basket-weaving, and textile work found in the American Southwest, and the masterful woodcarvings, bowls, and amulets of the Northwest coast.

When Europeans arrived, they caused a great deal of suffering for the indigenous peoples, spreading disease, instigating warfare, and inducing forced displacement, dramatically decreasing the population. However, in the 20th century, Native American activism rose, and Native American artists began to combine traditional forms of art with modern techniques in order to explore topics related to cultural identity and political rights.

For example, Nicholas Galanin, a versatile artist born in Alaska, creates art in multiple mediums, such as mixed media installation, video, and print-making. His work blends concepts and material practices deeply rooted in his Tlingit and Unangax̂ culture. Another celebrated artist, Cannupa Hanska Luger, is known for creating monumental installations, sculptures, and performances that communicate stories about 21st-century Indigeneity and engage in land-based actions of repair. Luger's work provokes diverse audiences to engage with Indigenous peoples and values.

Related categories

Mixed Media



Film/Video Art



Media Study

Searching for Identity

Textile Art

20th Century Art

Mixed Media Installation

21st Century Art


Cultural Study

Indigenous Culture

Indigenous Art

Modern Art