Action/Abstraction Redefined

Contact Name:
Cristoff Shay
Filed in:
Things to do near Cotuit, MA » Art » Visual-Arts

Cahoon Museum of American Art opens its 2022 season with Action/Abstraction Redefined, the first major traveling exhibition analyzing modern Native American art from the mid-1940s through the 1970s inspired by Abstract Expressionism, Color Field, and Hard-edge painting and created by leading artists, including George Morrison (Chippewa), Fritz Scholder (Mission/ Luiseno), and T.C. Cannon (Caddo/Kiowa). These innovative artists explored new ways of artistic expression and challenged stereotypical expectations of Native American art.

Their paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, and ceramics were created in studios across the nation and at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, where artists were encouraged to experiment and take risks. As part of avant-garde movements at the time, Native American artists redefined the concept of abstraction and pushed the boundaries of contemporary Native art. George Morrison actively contributed to the Abstract Expressionism movement in New York, where he exhibited and was associated with Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, and other avant-garde artists of the time. Like Abstract Expressionists, who broke with representational conventions and prioritized experimentation, IAIA artists redefined the concept of abstraction by creating deeply personal works informed by their own traditional aesthetics and art influences coming out of New York.
Among the artists included in this exhibition are George Morrison (Chippewa); Lloyd Kiva New (Cherokee); T.C. Cannon (Caddo/Kiowa); Fritz Scholder (Mission/ Luiseno); Alfred Young Man (Cree); Linda Lomahaftewa (Hopi/Choctaw); John Hoover (Aleut), Edna Massey (Cherokee), Earl Eder (Yanktonai Sioux); Neil Parsons (Blackfeet); Kevin Red Star (Crow); Redstar Price (Crow); Peter Jones (Onondaga); George Burdeau (Blackfeet); Ralph Aragon (San Felipe/Acoma pueblos); Henry Hank Gobin (Tulalip/Snohomish); Alice Loiselle (Chippewa); Patrick Swazo Hinds (Tesuque Pueblo); Carl Tubby (Choctaw), and others.
The traveling exhibition is supported by Art Bridges. Among the six museums that will host the Action/Abstraction Redefined exhibition are Cahoon Museum of American Art, Barnstable, MA; Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO; Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Greensburg, PA; Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, MO; Schingoethe Center of Aurora University, Aurora, IL; and Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts, Little Rock, AR.

Action/Abstraction Redefined was co-curated by Dr. Manuela Well-Off-Man, Chief Curator, Institute of American Indian Arts' Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Tatiana Lomahaftewa-Singer, MoCNA Curator of Collections and IAIA Associate Professor, and Dr. Lara Evans, IAIA Associate Professor of Native Art History.

Action/Abstraction Redefined is organized by IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Santa Fe, NM
Support for this exhibition is provided by Art Bridges
The Action/Abstraction Redefined exhibition catalog is available at the Museum Store. To order a copy please email us at or call 508-428-7581.

For more information, please visit

The Cahoon Museum of American Art is one of Cape Cod's leading, community-centered arts and culture organizations. Founded in 1984, the Cahoon Museum is a cultural resource with a broad mission of promoting arts education and cultivating art from contemporary artists who engage connections to New England's heritage and the wider story of American art.




General Admission: USD 10.00


Time: 10:00 - 16:00

Street Address

Cahoon Museum of American Art, 4676 Falmouth Road, Barnstable
Cotuit, MA 02635


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