The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

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Important Update

January 17, 2022 to May 8, 2022 | Project Space, Balcony Gallery, South Gallery

Duane Slick: The Coyote Makes the Sunset Better

Over a career that now spans thirty years, painter Duane Slick has consistently pursued a vision to integrate secular Modernist abstraction with the sacred beliefs and traditions of his Native American heritage. Despite a long exhibition history, The Coyote Makes the Sunset Better will be the artist’s first solo museum exhibition and will feature a body of new work created specifically for The Aldrich.


The coyote has been a consistent muse in Slick’s work, with the artist describing its role as a guide that has allowed him to step outside linear time to seed the more metaphysical strains of Modernism with indigenous spiritual beliefs. Slick’s painting spans vailed representation to total abstraction, with leitmotifs including the coyote, which appears as more of a resonance than a figure, the American flag, a reference to his father’s service in the military in the Korean War, and ghostly silhouettes of grasses and other plants that speak of the landscape of the great plains where he was born. Slick’s exhibition will be presented in three contiguous gallery spaces, totaling 2,700 sq. ft., and will feature a video installation based on 3-D scans of Indigenous artifacts in the collection of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology at Brown University —the first for the artist. Slick was born 1961 in Waterloo, Iowa, and currently lives and works in North Providence, RI. Since 1995 he has been professor of painting at the Rhode Island School of Design. He is a member of both the Meskwaki (Fox tribe of Iowa) and Ho-Chunk (Nebraska) nations. The exhibition is being organized by Richard Klein, The Aldrich’s Exhibitions Director, and will be accompanied by a publication.


Generous support for Duane Slick: The Coyote Makes the Sunset Better is provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. The catalogue for Duane Slick: The Coyote Makes the Sunset Better is generously supported by the Eric Diefenbach and James Keith Brown Publications Fund.


Top image: Duane Slick, Midnight in the Metaphysical Economy, 2021. Courtesy of the artist