Steven Yazzie 2009

Steven Yazzie, Navajo/Laguna Pueblo, has been creating and exhibiting works of art since the mid 1990’s. While his main body of his work is painting, he has also found equal success with sculpture, video, installation and mixed media work. Born in 1970, Yazzie is currently living and working in Phoenix, Arizona.

A major turning point in Yazzie’s career occurred in 1999, when he received a grant from the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, through the National Endowment for the Arts, to create a mural at the Heard Museum. At 7 ½-foot-tall by 160-foot-wide, “Fear of a Red Planet”, this large-scale narrative depicts the forced relocation and removal of Native American tribes in the Southwest. In 2003, Yazzie was commissioned to create SHADE Magazine’s Art award, “Momentum”, which was awarded to Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano. “Momentum” currently sits in the Governor’s office at the state capital. Yazzie participated in the Phoenix “Smithsonian Culture Fest” in 2004, painting “Orchestrating a Blooming Desert”, which served as the Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau campaign image and was also part of the auction that served the greater Phoenix arts community. Another project, recently exhibited at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, explores the notions of travel, velocity and the relationships one has with the landscape through the experience of driving and drawing while racing downhill in a small wooden car. This division of one’s attention between subject matter, physical artistic process, and a constant state of accelerating distractions seems an apt summation of contemporary life This body of work was highlighted in a solo exhibition at the Heard Museum, called, “Draw me a Picture” in 2007. He is currently exhibiting in Remix: New Modernities in a Post Indian World, at the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian, New York.

Yazzie is one of the founding members of Postcommodity, a contemporary American Indian arts collective. Postcommodity is an on going project who’s mission is to utilize collaborative, intertribal, multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to experimenting with conceptual and aesthetic forms of contemporary American Indian expression. During the summer of 2007 Postcommodity participated in their first 3 week residency and exhibition in the Czech Republic.

Steven Yazzie’s participation is being sponsored by the School of Art, Arizona State University

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