Main Lobby

September 29, 2023–February 4, 2024

The Stair-gazing Gallery features artwork by Jeffrey Gibson on loan from the Forge Project, which oversees a collection of contemporary art with an emphasis on the work of living Indigenous artists. Forge Project is a Native-led initiative centered on Indigenous art, decolonial education, and supporting leaders in culture, food security, and land justice. Located on the unceded homelands of the Muh-he-con-ne-ok in Upstate New York, Forge Project works to upend political and social systems formed through generations of settler colonialism.

Jeffrey Gibson, a member of The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, and half Cherokee, is a multi-media artist whose practice ranges from painting, sculpture, and installation to performance. He integrates Modernist aesthetics with global art and Indigenous traditions of beading, weaving, and metalwork. He also finds inspiration in contemporary popular and queer culture, synthesizing song lyrics, club culture, and fashion. Gibson’s work conjures emotions of strength, freedom, and joy while calling for the empowerment of queer and Indigenous communities.

Gibson’s SHE KNOWS OTHER WORLDS  (2019) is a mixed-media artwork incorporating acrylic painting, glass beads, and artificial sinew inset into a custom frame. In his painting practice, Gibson draws affinities between the designs, colors, and materials present in Indigenous art and Modernist abstraction. He often includes text and optimistic slogans such as ‘They Teach Love’; ‘Speaking to the Sky’; ‘She Rewrites History.’ Through its bold colors, rhythmic visual effects, and powerful message, SHE KNOWS OTHER WORLDS conveys hopefulness and wisdom for shaping the future.

About the Artist
Born in Colorado, Jeffrey Gibson lives and works near Hudson, New York. He is Choctaw-Cherokee and is a member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. He received a BFA (1995) from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MA (1998) from the Royal College of Art. Gibson’s work has been exhibited in major solo exhibitions at such institutions as the Denver Art Museum, the Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art at Hamilton College, and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, among others. Gibson is also represented in the permanent collections of the Buffalo AKG Art Museum, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Denver Art Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and National Gallery of Canada, Smithsonian Institution, among others. Gibson is a recipient of numerous awards, notably a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship; Joan Mitchell Foundation, Painters and Sculptors Award; and Creative Capital Foundation Grant. Currently, he is an artist-in-residence in the Studio Arts Program at Bard College.
He was recently selected to represent the United States at the 2024 Venice Biennale and he is the first indigenous artist to exhibit in the US pavilion.

Jeffery Gibson, SHE KNOWS OTHER WORLDS, 2019, Acrylic on canvas, glass beads, and artificial sinew inset into custom wood frame, 82 X 74 inches

Jeffrey Gibson, SHE KNOWS OTHER WORLDS, 2019, Acrylic on canvas, glass beads, and artificial sinew inset into custom wood frame, 82 X 74 inches

Major support for the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey is provided by The Wilf Family Foundations; Peter R. & Cynthia K. Kellogg Foundation; New Jersey State Council on the Arts; The Estate of Pamela Hauptfleisch; and the Art Center community of supporters.