Peter Blum Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new and recent work by Nicholas Galanin entitled, It Flows Through at 176 Grand Street, New York. This is the artist’s second solo exhibition with the gallery. There will be an artist’s reception on Saturday, May 7th, 2022, from 5-7pm, and the exhibition runs through July 22nd, 2022.
Nicholas Galanin (b. 1979, Sitka, Alaska) works at the intersection of conceptual and material practice, rooted in his Tlingit and Unangax̂ culture. Applying his creative agency in diverse media, Galanin celebrates cultural continuum, contradicts colonialism, and fights cultural erasure. Commenting on the exhibition, It Flows Through, he writes:
“The exhibition speaks to persistence. The persistence of our connections to land and culture through continuum and memory, flowing through us, embedded in our bodies, our languages, and our art. These connections flow like water in varied ways, from gentle imperceptible movements to sudden forces, each capable of moving, shaping, and wearing down stone.”
This determination is related through the highly visible and unapologetically Indigenous presence of the work that creates conversations of possibilities alongside refusals. The exhibition aims to elicit reactions to Indigenous persistence and prominence, and the way this is met: whether it is ignored, imagined, used, or punished.
In World Clock, a monotype depiction of The New York Times reports on the return of Manhattan to the Lenape. The continued rejection of this action is visualized below the monotype through a growing accumulation of newspapers added daily that relate a continuous stream of other news. The set of copper lockpicking tools entitled, Purchase, and the painted deer hide entitled, Architecture of return, escape (The British Museum), present a repudiation of the continued theft, containment, occupation, and erasure of Indigenous objects and culture, while also suggesting alternative actions and potentialities.
With the installation, Anax̱ Yaa Nadéin (it is flowing through it), a wall referencing a museum display of Indigenous baskets is transformed into a lineup of thieves via the ski-mask cut-outs. Confronting viewers, it evokes how Indigenous people’s insistence on agency, protection, and return can be cast as criminal. With Ascension, an Indonesian-produced curio totem has been milled into numerous boards, and then reconstructed into a ladder complete with stylized wings. The sculpture reflects on the connections between imaginings of culture, and the theft and use of culture as a tool for enforcing and advancing hierarchical structures.
Adept at conversing with multiple audiences through various media, Galanin’s practice is steeped in self-awareness and reflection. He challenges institutionalized authority and those who subscribe to it with persistence and the knowledge that “those institutions only rest on stone foundations.”
Nicholas Galanin earned a BFA at London Guildhall University (2003), an MFA at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand (2007), and apprenticed with master carvers and jewelers. He currently lives and works with his family in Sitka, Alaska. Galanin participated in Desert X, Palm Springs (2021); Biennale of Sydney (2020); Venice Biennale (2017); Whitney Biennial (2019); and Honolulu Biennial (2019). Galanin’s work is in permanent collections including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Art Institute of Chicago; Detroit Institute of Arts; The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Denver Art Museum; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and Princeton University. He received an award from American Academy of Arts and Letters (2020) and received a Soros Arts Fellowship (2020).