PRESS, ARTICLES, ETC
"Transfusion" from Chicago Tribune, written by art critic Alan Artner, September 2008
"Transfusion" is a show at the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian presenting work by four artists of mixed heritage. All the pieces are two-dimensional—paintings, drawings, collages, prints, photographs—and concerned with identity. What sort of identity manifests when an artist is Navajo, Zuni and Irish (as is John Joe) or Jemez Pueblo and Korean (Debra Yepa-Pappan) should be of interest.
Such interest usually takes precedence over formal concerns, and in that the exhibition is like others that explore heritage. However, the absence of "new media" and concentration on figuration tends to emphasize craft over ideas, which makes the works seem older than they are and more about past styles than exploring new possibilities.
Craig George and Chris Pappan are the most orthodox in their treatments of space and the human figure, though the latter adds a kind of ironic antiquarianism by recalling 19th Century ledger drawings. Joe vacillates between Pop Art paintings and semiabstract collages that suggest the teeming contemporaneity of graffiti. Yepa-Pappan's photo images achieve a fine edge only when she takes off from a famous Rene Magritte, nicely turning it to her purpose.
At the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian, 3001 Central St., Evanston, through Sept. 21. 847-475-1030; www.mitchellmuseum.org