Andrea Carlson’s Red Exit to Appear on NYC High Line

Andrea Carlson, Red Exit, 2020. Oil, watercolor, opaque watercolor, ink, acrylic, colored pencil, ball-point pen, fiber-tipped pen, and graphite pencil on paper, sixty sheets. Photo: Rik Sferra

The Whitney Museum of American Art in collaboration with High Line Art will present Andrea Carlson’s Red Exit (2020) as part of an ongoing public art series. The 17-by-29 foot vinyl reproduction is installed directly across from the Whitney and the High Line on the southwest corner of Gansevoort and Washington Streets.

The composition is anchored by a loon, known in the Ojibwe re-creation narrative as an Earth-Diver, who alongside other surviving animals, helps remake the world. Carlson also incorporates the infinity sign from the flag of the Métis People and the silhouetted figure of “Man Mound,” a destroyed earthwork—fractured by a road—that appears here to rise up from the land. Through her images, which take shape as a continuous wake pattern, she invokes moments of resistance and empowerment. Symbols of Native advocacy come together in a gesture of reclamation, creating new narratives of Indigenous experience in North America. While Red Exit confronts the ongoing erasure of Indigenous cultures, it is, in the artist’s words, a celebration of “the place we (Native People) reserve for ourselves … places of joy amidst removal, exclusion, and attempted assimilation.”

Red Exit will be on view January 25 through September 19, 2021.

Installation view of Andrea Carlson: Red Exit (95 Horatio Street, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, January 25, 2020-September 2021). Photo: Ron Amstutz