Morgan Lehman Gallery is pleased to present Heartbreaking and Shit, Frohawk Two Feathers’ second solo exhibition with the gallery.
Following the artist's deeply involved narrative, Heartbreaking and Shit presents the "next chapter" in a device of fictionalized history that Two Feathers has become noted for. This latest body of work finds the European colonialists landing in the new world of America and establishing settlements in the Northeast. With settlement comes war, and on this strange new land, the artist's invented European super-power "Frengland" goes to battle against “New Holland," both sides allied with various Native American tribes.
While Two Feathers has established a broad macro-narrative via¬ his intercontinental, empire-building struggles, the artist has also employed a deeply nuanced micro-narrative. Filled with characters that love, lust, greed and connive their way through the artist’s take on 18th century drama and intrigue, his heroes and heroines may exist in the past, but their essences are a blend of colonialism melded with contemporary urban street culture, influenced greatly by Two Feathers’ background as a hip hop artist. This juxtaposition of new and old, colonial and contemporary raises a myriad of questions for the viewer, primarily in how we reconcile the sins of imperialism with the sins of today.
This show follows-up Two Feathers’ museum exhibition, You Can Fall: The War of Mourning Arrows at The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey and the Wellin Museum at Hamilton College. For that series of work and in this current exhibit, the artist focuses for the first time on the 18th century history of New York and New Jersey. As he has done often in the past, the artist has focused the storyline specifically on the area in which he is exhibiting. Accordingly, Two Feathers draws from the rich and tragic histories of the Lenape-Delate and Iroquois tribes that inhabited present day Manhattan and the surrounding Northeast. Using a limitless selection of media and materials, from stretched animal hides and furs to artificially aged paper and roughly hewn olive wood, Two Feathers creates exhibitions that purposely feel that they could as much belong within the confines of a historical society as they do in a contemporary art gallery. In doing so, the artist creates works that function as faux-historical objects: the remnants from, and the visual record of, the epic "Battle of Manhattan", c.1790.
Frohawk Two Feathers was born in 1976 in Chicago, Illinois, and currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California. He has had recent solo exhibitions at the Wellin Museum of Art, the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, the Nevada Museum of Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. In Fall 2014, Frohawk will exhibit as a MATRIX artist at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, CT, where he will conclude this narrative. His work is in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Progressive Collection, the 21C Museum, the Nevada Museum of Art, and the Wellin Museum of Art, among others. Major publications that have reviewed his work include Art in America, The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times.