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March 03 2016

Ledger Art Stands Out of the Armory Show’s Modern Section

Hyperallergic

Reviewing the Armory Show 2016 for Hyperallergic, Benjamin Sutton writes that its ‘most surprising stand may be that of New York’s Donald Ellis Gallery.’ The presentation is devoted to Ledger Drawings created by Native American warrior artists of the Great Plains during the last decades of the 19th century. 

While the Armory Show is known first and foremost as a venue for buying contemporary art, Sutton remarks that some of the real highlights were shown at the southern pier, where ‘dealers quietly move Modern masterpieces worth millions.’ One of the ‘few gallerists [that] went above and beyond to curate special presentations’ was Donald Ellis Gallery. 

The centrepiece of the exhibition is a 66-inch-wide Lakota painting on muslin. The scene depicts a Sun Dance (c. 1895), one of the most important ceremonies among many Native Plains cultures during which the whole community gathers. ‘Its cast of about 50 figures, each rendered with great attention to the details of ceremonial garb, is fascinating to peruse,’ Sutton comments. The work Is shown alongside a series of smaller drawings capturing ceremonial life, warriors on horseback and personal visions.

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Ledger Art Stands Out of the Armory Show’s Modern Section