Jim Denomie (1955–2022) (Ojibwe) was a prolific artist, creating vividly hued paintings, works on paper, and sculptures that aimed a critical lens on the history of Indigenous people and their intersections with mainstream culture.
A posthumous survey exhibition of Denomie’s work is forthcoming at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (2023–2024). Selected solo exhibitions of his work include Challenging the Narrative at Michigan’s Muskegon Museum of Art (2020–2021), Standing Rock Paintings at Bockley Gallery (2019), and Jim Denomie: Paintings at Projek Traumon in Friedrichshafen, Germany (2015). His group exhibitions include And if I devoted my life to one of its feathers? at Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna (2021), The Expressionist Figure: 100 Years of Modern and Contemporary Drawing at the Walker Art Center (2019–2020), and Imagined Communities at 21st Contemporary Art Biennial Sesc_Videobrasil in São Paulo (2019). Honored with a multitude of grants and awards, Denomie received the McKnight Foundation’s Distinguished Artist Award (2019), a McKnight Artist Fellowship, and the Artist Initiative Grant through the Minnesota State Arts Board (2018), as well as a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant (2015). His work is in numerous collections, including those at the Philbrook Museum of Art, the Denver Art Museum, and the Walker Art Center.
Following his passing in March 2022, Denomie’s family partnered with Bockley Gallery and All My Relations Gallery at the Native American Community Development Institute (NACDI) to create the Jim Denomie Memorial Scholarship, an annual prize for a Native artist exemplifying its namesake’s values of commitment to excellence, generosity of spirit, and engagement with community.
While Denomie was born in Hayward, Wisconsin, and lived in Minneapolis most of his life, he was a global citizen, connecting with and supporting artists within and beyond the United States.