We welcome highly renowned Minnesota-based Ojibwe artist Jim Denomie for his first solo exhibition at Froelick Gallery. The works in Toppled Monuments were all begun early in 2020, prior to the outbreak of the global pandemic, then put aside during a time of uncertainty and distraction. He returned to these canvases in a shifting world during the upswell of protests in the wake of the killing of George Floyd in nearby Minneapolis. Some paintings refer to current events overtly, while he describes the content of others as spiritual erotic landscapes, with imagery that encompasses Indigenous symbolism, personal iconography, winking Americana, and interpreted dreams.
Jim Denomie lives and works in Franconia, MN and was born in 1955 on the Lac Courte Oreille reservation near Hayward WI. He has won numerous awards including the Bush Foundation, and McKnight Foundation fellowships. Most recently in 2019, Denomie was awarded the McKnight Foundation Distinguished Artist Award, which is given annually to one Minnesota-based artist and includes a significant financial gift to support ongoing artistic endeavors- he is the first Native American artist to be chosen for the Distinguished Artist Award since its inception in 1996. In 2015 Denomie was awarded a Painters and Sculptors grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation and in 2017 he completed the Foundation’s Artist-In-Residence program at the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans LA. Denomie’s work has been shown extensively in the U.S. and in Germany, including exhibitions in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City and Seattle. In 1995, Denomie received a BFA degree from the University of Minnesota. His work is found in the collections of the Denver Art Museum, the Walker Art Center, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis, the Minnesota Museum of American Art in Saint Paul, and the Eitlejorg Museum in Indianapolis, among others.