Rick Bartow: Things You Know But Cannot Explain
Things You Know But Cannot Explain represents Rick Bartow's
first major retrospective and a substantial contribution to the
growing body of scholarship on contemporary Native artists. This
exhibition speaks directly to the personal and cultural aspects of
traditional Native art within Bartow’s oeuvre while demonstrating
his close engagement with the work of 20th century artists, such as
Francis Bacon, Robert Rauschenberg, and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Representing more than 40 years of work, this exhibit features
a broad selection of sculptures, paintings, drawings, and prints
drawn from public and private collections and the artist’s
studio, affirming Bartow’s regional, national, and international
impact. The exhibition culminates with outstanding examples of
Bartow’s most recent work, which evidence a new freedom of scale
Rather than chronological, the exhibition is arranged according to
themes such as gesture, self, dialogue, tradition, and transformation.
The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog, with
essays by co-curators Jill Hartz, Executive Director, and Danielle
Knapp, McCosh Associate Curator of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum
of Art (JSMA) at the University of Oregon in Eugene. Hartz
addresses Bartow’s new work while Knapp discusses the thematic
sections. Lawrence Fong, former Curator of American and regional
art at the JSMA, examines the impact of Bartow’s 1996 visit to New
Zealand and his indigenous heritage.