“Standout”: Dyani White Hawk in the Whitney Biennial

Dyani White Hawk, Wopila | Lineage, 2021.
Photo: Maximilíano Durón, ARTnews

Dyani White Hawk (Sičangu Lakota) may be showing only one artwork at the Biennial, but what a spectacular piece it is.” ArtNEWS’s Maximiliáno Durán includes White Hawk in his rundown of 12 standouts in the 2022 Whitney Biennial:

From far away, the abstract work looks like a painting, but it was actually created by “affixing loomed strips of thin glass bugle beads onto aluminum panels,” according to the wall text. White Hawk says that her work is as much in conversation with postwar Abstract Expressionists like Barnett Newman and Jackson Pollock as it is with the centuries-old beadwork of the Lakota people. In the United States, pure abstraction is still often credited to artists like Newman and Pollock; White Hawk wants us to consider the true originators of this style of art-making, in a moment when acknowledging that we are on stolen land has become commonplace in the art world. She says, “The work is uniquely Lakota, tied to a lineage of artwork that speaks to connections between land and life. The title, Wopila | Lineage, expresses deep gratitude for the interwoven network of ancestral and living communities that make the work possible. I believe beauty is medicinal. The work, as an offering of beauty, is a gift of reciprocity.”