(1940 – 2021), USA

Jimmie Durham Artworks

Jimmie Durham's artworks often examine contemporary concerns including western hegemony and the historical and contemporary oppression of minorities. In particular he is recognised for his sculptural constructions of animal skulls and found objects that evoke Native American iconography and confront persisting Native American stereotypes.

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American Indian Movement

The 1970s was a politically active period for Durham. In 1973, Durham returned to the U.S. and began working as an organiser for the American Indian Movement. By 1975, he was a member of the movement's Central Council and the executive director of the International Indian Treaty Council, as well as the representative of American Indians to the United Nations. In 1979, Durham resigned from the Council over disagreements and decided to commit more time to art, although he remained concerned with Native American issues.

Durham's claims to a Native American identity have at times been disputed. In 2017, an open letter by author and academic Steve Russell stated that Durham was not enrolled in any of the three Cherokee Nations. While the artist often described himself as Cherokee, he refused to be considered within the category of 'Native artist', once stating, 'I am not "Native American," nor do I feel that "America" has any right to either name me or un-name me.'

Sculptures

In 1980, then living in New York City, Durham began combining various materials, objects, and text to create sculptural assemblages that address the historical and contemporary conditions of Native American life. A puma skull wearing a feathered headdress appears mounted on a blue barricade painted with flowers and the words 'POLICE DEPT' in Tlunh Datsi (1984). The work, whose title refers to the Cherokee word for 'panther', has been regarded as referencing the oppression of Native Americans in the U.S.

Durham also merged reality and fiction in his work by drawing upon the complex and ambiguous definitions of authenticity and identity. The full-length assemblage Self-Portrait (1986), made by tracing and cutting the outline of his body on canvas, features handwritten notes that oscillate between a first- and third-person perspective, and between factual and fabricated details about the artist.

Browse Artworks
French Anatomy by Jimmie Durham contemporary artwork painting, sculpture, mixed media
Jimmie Durham French Anatomy, 2015 Wood, fabric, glue, hair
72 x 230 x 2 cm
Barbara Wien Contact Gallery
Songs of My Childhood by Jimmie Durham contemporary artwork sculpture, moving image
Jimmie Durham Songs of My Childhood, 2014 Two-channel video installation
Barbara Wien Contact Gallery
The Weight of All Flesh by Jimmie Durham contemporary artwork sculpture, drawing, mixed media
Jimmie Durham The Weight of All Flesh, 2015 Wall piece: graphite, bottle caps, glass
180 x 250 x 3 cm
Barbara Wien Contact Gallery
dirt & hair on french linen by Jimmie Durham contemporary artwork painting, sculpture, mixed media
Jimmie Durham dirt & hair on french linen, 2010 Dirt, hair, acrylic paint on french linen
190 x 42 x 13 cm
Barbara Wien Contact Gallery
Siren Intermedia by Jimmie Durham contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
Jimmie Durham Siren Intermedia, 2014 Acrylic paint‚ 'performed' on paper
100 x 70 cm
Barbara Wien Contact Gallery
Corydalus Comptus by Jimmie Durham contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
Jimmie Durham Corydalus Comptus, 2014 Acrylic paint‚ 'performed‘ on paper
50 x 65 cm
Barbara Wien Contact Gallery
Electric by Jimmie Durham contemporary artwork sculpture, mixed media
Jimmie Durham Electric, 1995 Steel cable, plastic, crawfish claw, metal, wood, outlet
Barbara Wien Contact Gallery
Resurrection (9/21) by Jimmie Durham contemporary artwork sculpture, mixed media
Jimmie Durham Resurrection (9/21), 1995 TV, stone, glass, wire
46 x 66 x 42 cm
Barbara Wien Contact Gallery
Filz un Flint by Jimmie Durham contemporary artwork sculpture, mixed media
Jimmie Durham Filz un Flint, 1997 Chair, hat and rock
95 x 41 x 40 cm
Barbara Wien Contact Gallery
In the Air, long before Archeology by Jimmie Durham contemporary artwork sculpture, installation, mixed media
Jimmie Durham In the Air, long before Archeology, 2008 Scaffold, wood, bone, plastic elements, chinaware, doll
230 x 400 x 80 cm
Barbara Wien Contact Gallery
Particle/Word Theory by Jimmie Durham contemporary artwork works on paper, drawing
Jimmie Durham Particle/Word Theory, 2020 Original drawing on paper, graphite and/or ink, framed
29.7 x 21 cm
Barbara Wien Contact Gallery
Particle/Word Theory by Jimmie Durham contemporary artwork works on paper, drawing
Jimmie Durham Particle/Word Theory, 2020 Original drawing on paper, graphite and/or ink, framed
29.7 x 21 cm
Barbara Wien Contact Gallery
CHAGRIN by Jimmie Durham contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, print
Jimmie Durham CHAGRIN, 2020 Mixed media on paper, numbered and signed
107 x 78 cm
Barbara Wien Contact Gallery
JE N‘ SAIS QUOI by Jimmie Durham contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, print
Jimmie Durham JE N‘ SAIS QUOI, 2020 Mixed media on paper, numbered and signed
107 x 78 cm
Barbara Wien Contact Gallery
NIGHT VISION by Jimmie Durham contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, print
Jimmie Durham NIGHT VISION, 2020 Mixed media on paper, numbered and signed
107 x 70 cm
Barbara Wien Contact Gallery
BLEW C SPIRIT by Jimmie Durham contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, print
Jimmie Durham BLEW C SPIRIT, 2020 Mixed media on paper, numbered and signed
107 x 78 cm
Barbara Wien Contact Gallery
Road work and nostalgia by Jimmie Durham contemporary artwork sculpture
Jimmie Durham Road work and nostalgia, 2012 2 parts, fabric and paper on wood, and paper and fabric on bull neck skin
Barbara Wien Contact Gallery
Digital by Jimmie Durham contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
Jimmie Durham Digital, 2014 Acrylic paint, performed on paper, signed and dated
65 x 50 cm
Barbara Wien Contact Gallery
Phthalo, Quinacridone and me by Jimmie Durham contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
Jimmie Durham Phthalo, Quinacridone and me, 2014 Acrylic paint, performed, on paper, signed and dated
65 x 50 cm
Barbara Wien Contact Gallery
TRAVERSESTEIN by Jimmie Durham contemporary artwork sculpture
Jimmie Durham TRAVERSESTEIN, 2020 Travertine marble from Italy
Barbara Wien Contact Gallery
Glass Bear by Jimmie Durham contemporary artwork sculpture
Jimmie Durham Glass Bear, 2019 Aluminium, glass, iron
135 x 164 x 23 cm
Barbara Wien Contact Gallery
OPERA by Jimmie Durham contemporary artwork sculpture
Jimmie Durham OPERA, 2020 Murano glass, stainless steel
135 x 50 x 50 cm
Barbara Wien Contact Gallery
Look Ahead, 2013 (For Parkett 92) by Jimmie Durham contemporary artwork print
Jimmie Durham Look Ahead, 2013 (For Parkett 92), 2013 9 colour silkscreen print on Arches Velin 400gm
31.5 x 31.5 inches
Parkett Contact Gallery
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