Ghostflower

Kent Monkman, Cree / Canadian, born 1965

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1997-2022

Acrylic on canvas

Overall: 60 × 96 in. (152.4 × 243.8 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Purchased through the Miriam H. and S. Sidney Stoneman Acquisition Fund

© Kent Monkman

2023.18.2

Geography

Place Made: Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, Canada, North America

Period

21st century

Object Name

Painting

Research Area

Native American

Painting

Not on view

Label

Suspended in the center of the painting, hair flowing and arm outstretched, Miss Chief’s familiar posture issues an invitation for the viewer to enter an otherwise nebulous space. In Ghostflower, Monkman revisits an abstract expressionist painting he originally created in 1997 and paints Miss Chief into a state of mamahtâwisiwin.

As he explains, "In the process of writing the Memoir of Miss Chief Eagle Testickle ... I realized that I didn’t have imagery to communicate Miss Chief’s entry into the state of mamahtâwisiwin—a Cree concept that can be partially described as a state of being in which one is tapped into the great mystery of the universe, of spiritual interconnectedness of all life, and of unknowingness. I returned to abstraction as the perfect painting vocabulary to capture the in-between states beyond consciousness."

From the 2023 exhibition Kent Monkman: The Great Mystery, curated by Jami Powell, Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs & Curator of Indigenous Art

Course History

Film Studies 42.23, Travelers and Tourists, Heidi Denzel, Spring 2023

College Course 21.01, What's In Your Shoebox? , Francine A'Ness and Mokhtar Bouba, Spring 2023

Native American and Indigenous Studies 21.01, Indigenous People Political Economies, Raymond Orr, Spring 2023

Native American and Indigenous Studies 30.26, Indigenous Geographies, Elan Pochedley, Spring 2023

Native American and Indigenous Studies 8.01, Perspectives in Native American Studies, Raymond Orr, Spring 2023

Philosophy 1.11, Art: True, Beautiful, Nasty, John Kulvicki, Summer 2023

English 62.05, Horrors of Survival: Modern American Literature, Jamie Godley, Summer 2023

First Year Student Enrichment Program – Cultures, Identities and Belongings, Mokhtar Bouba, Summer 2023

Writing 2.05, Why Write, Anyway?, Erkki Mackey, Fall 2023

College Course 26.01, What's In Your Toolbox?, Francine A'Ness and Mokhtar Bouba, Fall 2023

Writing 5.05, Image and Text, Becky Clark, Fall 2023

Writing 5.06, Image and Text, Becky Clark, Fall 2023

Exhibition History

Kent Monkman: The Great Mystery, Lathrop Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, April 8 - December 16, 2023.

Provenance

The artist, Kent Monkman, Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory; commissioned by the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth, 2022.

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