Show Preview | Kevin Red Star

Santa Fe, NM
Sorrel Sky Gallery, July 6-31

Kevin Red Star, Pretty Shawl’s Red Mountain Tipi, acrylic, 48 x 72.

Kevin Red Star, Pretty Shawl’s Red Mountain Tipi, acrylic, 48 x 72.

This story was featured in the July 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art July 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

In the early days of the American Indian, home was not always permanent. Members of tribes across the Plains of western America would build mobile teepees to carry with them as they traveled in search of food and trade. Each tribe’s teepees were different. Whether it was in the types of poles they used, how they placed them, or the types of decorations seen on the canvas, the people expressed themselves through the homes they made. These lodges are the focus of Kevin Red Star’s new body of work presented at Sorrel Sky Gallery this month. The show, titled Apsaalooke Lodges, opens on Friday, July 6, with an artist’s reception from 5 to 7:30 p.m.

Red Star has always been inspired by the stories and histories of his people. A member of the Crow (Apsaalooke) tribe, his work has helped shape the contemporary Native American art scene. “Kevin never stops reaching back into the history of his culture or stretching forward to test the boundary of contemporary Native American art,” says Shanan Campbell Wells, owner of the gallery. “His work continues to evolve and yet remains classic and timeless.” Red Star was inspired by the stories he heard from his family regarding the mobile settlements and personalized teepees of yesteryear. “Whenever my mom and the other women would get together in their sewing circles, they would start talking about old times, and I was always there with my ears open,” Red Star says.

The show features about 12 new pieces depicting teepees, along with additional works featuring other native traditions. While Red Star does focus on the lodges from his own tribe, he also includes images from other Plains tribes to present a comparison regarding both construction and ornamentation. “The Crows don’t really decorate their teepees unless they are notables or
healers,” he says. “But many other tribes do. I want to have a large sampling to see those differences.”

Recently Red Star has begun to loosen his work and experiment with a more minimalist approach. Those familiar with his style will recognize the vivid color washes and sharp lines the artist is known for. But now, the finite, historical details gently fade to the background with new points of view on the subject matter. One piece, titled PRETTY SHAWL’S RED MOUNTAIN TIPI, shows a view of the sky seen through the top of a decorated teepee. “This is a bit more abstract and almost cubist,” Red Star says. “Being in a teepee at night and seeing the sky that way is really something special. I wanted to capture my impression of that experience in my own way.” Wells says Red Star’s ability to experiment keeps his work vital and fresh. “Its dynamic nature truly reflects Kevin’s own energy and love for what he does,” she says. “This show is really about the villages and the family,” Red Star says about the work. “This is where children were born and were raised, so it’s a very important part of the culture.” —Mackenzie McCreary

contact information
505.501.6555
www.sorrelsky.com

This story was featured in the July 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art July 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

MORE RESOURCES FOR ART COLLECTORS & ENTHUSIASTS
• Subscribe to Southwest Art magazine
• Learn how to paint & how to draw with downloads, books, videos & more from North Light Shop
• Sign up for your Southwest Art email newsletter & download a FREE ebook

COMMENT