Andrea Carlson’s works bring liminal dreamlike places, somewhere between the reality of our current colonial wasteland and the world our ancestors brought into existence. Through painted and drawn surfaces, her real and imagined spaces confront western notions of the form and function of landscape paintings. Her arresting images often utilize the organization and visual frameworks of campy horror films and graphic comic books to address issues such as cultural cannibalism, stereotypes, and survivance of Native culture and stories.
Last Out uses traditional indigenous storytelling to confront the history and present circumstances of the violent colonial repression against native peoples in New England. Taking inspiration from the text Firsting and Lasting: Writing Indians out of Existence in New England by Jean O’Brien (White Earth Ojibwe), the title Last Out references how local histories have become the way in which European Americans assert their own modernity and deny native realities.
In particular, the story of one woman: Weetamoo, a Wampanoag chief who led her people against English invasion in an attempt to stave off colonialism. Rather than focus on the legacy of Weetamoo’s tragic death or the violent landscape that she was born into, Carlson attempts to show a path, a history, a journey – framed by bent trees, soaring mountains, and distant oceans – where indigenous people are no longer the “last out” but rather the ones who continue to remain.
About Andrea Carlson
Andrea Carlson earned her BA in studio art and American Indian studies from the University of Minnesota (2003), and her MFA in Visual Studies from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (2005). Her art is in numerous museum collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, Walker Art Center, and National Gallery of Canada. Major group exhibitions include Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists, 2019-21, which traveled to multiple venues including Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum, and Art for a New Understanding: Native Voices, 1950s to Now, Crystal Bridges Museum of Art, Bentonville, AK, 2019-20.
PLATFORMS are one-person commissioned projects by early- and mid-career artists from New England, national, and international art communities that engage with our museum’s unique landscapes. The PLATFORM series lets artists expand their practice and visitors experience new approaches to contemporary sculpture and public art.