Art for an Undivided Earth

The American Indian Movement Generation

Art for an Undivided Earth

Art History Publication Initiative

More about this series

Book Pages: 312 Illustrations: 121 illustrations (incl. 59 co Published: June 2017

American Studies, Art and Visual Culture > Art Criticism and Theory, Native and Indigenous Studies

In Art for an Undivided Earth Jessica L. Horton reveals how the spatial philosophies underlying the American Indian Movement (AIM) were refigured by a generation of artists searching for new places to stand. Upending the assumption that Jimmie Durham, James Luna, Kay WalkingStick, Robert Houle, and others were primarily concerned with identity politics, she joins them in remapping the coordinates of a widely shared yet deeply contested modernity that is defined in great part by the colonization of the Americas. She follows their installations, performances, and paintings across the ocean and back in time, as they retrace the paths of Native diplomats, scholars, performers, and objects in Europe after 1492. Along the way, Horton intervenes in a range of theories about global modernisms, Native American sovereignty, racial difference, archival logic, artistic itinerancy, and new materialisms. Writing in creative dialogue with contemporary artists, she builds a picture of a spatially, temporally, and materially interconnected world—an undivided earth.


"Art for an Undivided Earth is an impressively informative and thought-provoking work of seminal scholarship and a critically important addition to both community and academic library Contemporary Native American collections in general, and American Indian Movement supplemental studies reading lists in particular." — Midwest Book Review

"Horton’s study is scholarship as advocacy and a significant contribution to the ongoing discussion about how to develop a truly global perspective in the study of contemporary art.... This is a scholarly book with the usual apparatus and takes into account a range of theoretical approaches but is written clearly enough to offer something to serious general readers." — Andrea Kirsh, Artblog

"At last an art book that recognizes Native American art as mainstream, and takes it seriously and interprets it with the same care and scrutiny given to art created by white people.... The research behind Art for an Undivided Earth is deep and reaches not only into Native roots but also across the ocean to European influences. The plentiful color illustrations enhance the points Horton makes, and the narrative is thorough and well written.... Essential. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals." — A. Wirkkala, Choice

"The book is well-illustrated, with color plates focusing on the main artworks discussed. The author has clearly done extensive research, in some cases communicating with the artists themselves, and compiled a very thorough bibliography. The index to the book is also thoughtful, providing nuances for broad topics. In all, this book is a worthwhile read." — Amy Lazet, ARLIS/NA Reviews

"The book ... comes alive through the author’s creative reinterpretation of the art, along with the author’s cogent primary data consisting of participant observation and interviews.... A widespread interdisciplinary audience ... likely will find plenty of insights in this interesting book." — Tim Kubal, American Indian Culture and Research Journal

“Horton offers a model of contemporary art scholarship that is informed not only by wide-ranging critical theory but also of the historical traditions of Native American art. It adheres to the highest standards of scholarship while also engaging a constructive and hopeful intercultural dialogue.” — Ruth Phillips, European Journal of American Culture

"Jessica L. Horton’s book is a carefully and lovingly collected archive of stories, images, and histories that draw one closer to the artists discussed." — Lindsay Nixon, Art Journal

"Art for an Undivided Earth has much to recommend it to motivated university students: a lengthy bibliography, lots of notes, a gallery of colour illustrations, black-and-white illustrations throughout, and chapters on Jimmy Durham, James Luna, Fred Kabotie, Kay Walkingstick, and Robert Houle." — Emily E. Auger, Canadian Journal of Native Studies

Art For An Undivided Earth is perhaps the most involved and in-depth study of Native Modernism to date. . . .  Horton’s work is a valuable resource for advanced undergraduates through professional-level academics, but is a required read for anyone pursuing Native American scholarship in museum studies, archival studies, and art history, or any other discipline which calls for a deeper investment than the identitarian/ethnographic approach which too often reigns supreme.” — Anthony Ballas, InVisible Culture

"Art for an Undivided Earth is a landmark in thinking about Native American art and offers a great deal to everyone working on the contribution of indigenous artists to the modernities that coexisted within twentieth-century modern art. An outstanding work." — Terry Smith, author of One and Five Ideas: On Conceptual Art and Conceptualism

"Art for an Undivided Earth reframes Native American art history in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, revising our understanding of modernism and contemporary art. Highlighting Native North American artists as key figures for imagining the global contemporary, Jessica L. Horton demonstrates that the much-celebrated ‘global turn’ has in fact characterized Native North American experience and cultural production since 1492. Based on exhaustive and imaginative research, this book should transform the field and help change the way that Native American artists are understood and taught." — Bill Anthes, author of Edgar Heap of Birds


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Price: $27.95

Open Access

Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Jessica L. Horton is Assistant Professor of Art History at the University of Delaware.

Table of Contents Back to Top
List of Illustrations  ix
Acknowledgments  xiii
Introduction  1
1. The Word for World and the Word for History Are the Same: Jimmie Durham, the American Indian Movement, and Spatial Thinking  16
2. Now That We Are Christians We Dance for Ceremony: James Luna, Performing Props, and Sacred Space  61
3. They Sent Me Way Out in the Foreign Country and Told Me to Forget It: Fred Kabotie, Dance Memories, and the 1932 U.S. Pavilion of the Venice Biennale  94
4. Dance Is the One Activity That I Know Of When Virtual Strangers Can Embrace: Kay WalkingStick, Creative Kinship, and Art History's Tangled Legs  123
5. They Advanced to the Portraits of Their Friends and Offered Them Their Hands: Robert Houle, Ojibwa Tableaux Vivants, and Transcultural Materialism  152
Epilogue: Traveligng with Stones  184
Notes  197
Bibliography  249
Index  283
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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Named a 2017 Outstanding Academic Title by Choice Magazine

Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-6981-3 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-6954-7
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