Gerald Peters Contemporary is pleased to announce Steven J Yazzie: Throwing Stars Over Monsters. The comprehensive exhibition will bring together new paintings, drawings, photographs, and video works by the Denver-based artist. Working with a variety of media, Steven J Yazzie’s (Diné/Laguna Pueblo) work is a meditation on the intersections of technology, culture, and nature, and how these elements shape our understanding of the world.
In his ongoing Drawing and Driving series, begun in 2006, Yazzie steers a gravity-powered vehicle along a downhill stretch of road while drawing an image of the surrounding landscape. In picturing landscape from the point of view of a moving vehicle, Yazzie highlights the impact of technology in one’s experience of the world.
Consistent with the artist’s larger interest in utilizing multisensory experiences to challenge perceptions, Yazzie has developed a new video and series of photographs. In these works, Yazzie plays with spatial relationships and perspective – flattening planes, eliminating the horizon line, and shifting viewpoints. In doing so, Yazzie disrupts the conventional approach to depicting the landscapes and opens new possibilities for interpretation.
Four new landscape paintings also accompany the exhibition. Filled with layers of color, the paintings seem to simultaneously develop and dissolve form, carrying with them the same sense of movement and energy found in his drawings, photographs, and video. This state of fluctuation echoes the constant change of the natural world and our experiences and memories within it.
Steven J Yazzie (b.1970) Newport Beach, California; lives and works in Denver, Colorado. Yazzie is a proud member of the Navajo Nation and is a veteran of the Gulf War, serving honorably with the United States Marine Corps from 1988-92. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Intermedia at Arizona State University and was named the 2014 outstanding graduate of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. He also studied at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine, 2006.
Yazzie’s has exhibited extensively nationally and internationally, most notably at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; National Museum of the American Indian, New York, NY; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada; the Museum of Contemporary Native Art and the Wheelwright Museum in Santa Fe, NM. Throughout Arizona: Heard Museum, Phoenix Art Museum, Arizona State University Art Museum, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Tucson Museum of Art, and the Museum of Northern Arizona.
Yazzie was the 2021 recipient of the Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship and the 2022 Native Artist in Residence at the Denver Art Museum. He was recently awarded Community Scholar for the Interdisciplinary Research Institute for the Study of (in)Equality, University of Denver, Colorado.