Aesthetically at Home: Dyani White Hawk on Modern Art Notes

Dyani White Hawk, Self-Reflection, 2011

On the occasion of her inclusion in Rising Sun: Artists in an Uncertain America, on view in Philadelphia through October 8, Dyani White Hawk speaks with Tyler Green on the Modern Art Notes podcast. In their wide-ranging, 80-minute conversation, they discuss how her practices in painting and quill work came to merge, why she’s attracted to abstraction, how she came to utilize the image of a moccasin top in her work, and the significance of stripes in her art, among other topics.

Of the recurrence of stripes in her works, she says:

It 100 percent relates to Lakota aesthetics, to patterning and banding you see happen within porcupine quillwork, within lane stitch beadwork, within designs and motifs that are built into those art forms. And when I was in graduate school […] I started immediately responding to the eras of color-field and stripe painting, and many times I would fall in love with a particular painter, and then I would start reading on these painters and I would figure out that these painters were either living in proximity to Native communities or they were collectors of Indigenous arts or they were looking at or somehow inspired by our work. So I was having these moments of: “Of course you were! Of course that’s why I’m responding to your work, because it looks like our work.” I respond to that work because it feels like home, aesthetically, for me.

For more, read the 2022 Bockley Gallery interview with White Hawk, “Beauty Is Medicinal.”