Skip to Content
March 03 2017

Ledger Drawings Stand Apart from the Armory Show

Art Agenda

Reviewing the Armory Show 2017 for Art Agenda, Brian Karl writes that the Native American drawings on view at Donald Ellis Gallery are among the rare works ‘that represent human concerns in sly and clever ways.’ Their historical, political and artistic agency is ‘all the more potent and poignant' at the moment to the series of confrontations at Standing Rock in the Dakotas. 

Among the hustle and bustle of the art fair, a series of Ledger Drawings and two larger paintings on animal hide leave a lasting impression. Created by Cheyenne warrior artists in the late nineteenth century, the works are among the oldest on view at the fair. Imagery such as scenes of hostile encounters between Native American warriors and the U.S. military, but also the medium itself — accounting ledger books introduced by Euro-Americans in the mid-nineteenth century — document ‘the shifting of Indigenous culture under colonialism for future generations and other peoples. Such an unintended outcome,' Brian comments, 'is all the more potent and poignant at the moment that a series of confrontations at Standing Rock over land rights and the threat of environmental degradation in the Dakotas has brought issues relating to the U.S. government’s disregarded treaties for native land back to public attention.’

Read the Original Article

Download Ledger Drawings Stand Apart from the Armory Show Clipping

Ledger Drawings Stand Apart from the Armory Show