T.C. Cannon: Heard Museum presents rare paintings by 20th century artist

Collector #5 (Man in Wicker Chair) 1975, oil/acrylic by artist T.C. Cannon (From the Nancy and Richard Bloch Collection. Reproduced by permission of the Estate of T.C. Cannon. © 2017 Estate of T.C. Cannon.)

The Heard Museum is set to welcome Of God and Mortal Men: Masterworks by T.C. Cannon from the Nancy and Richard Bloch Collection.

The large-scale exhibition of work by American artist T.C. Cannon (1946-1978) includes paintings not publicly exhibited in 25 years, according to a press release.

The exhibit will be open to the public Oct. 7 through April 15. Mr. Cannon, whose Kiowa name Pai Doung a Day translates to One-Who-Stands-in-the-Sun, was one of the most significant Native American painters of the 20th century.

T.C. Cannon came of age in the early 1970s after serving for two years in the Vietnam war. His vibrant, colorful imagery typically features stylized depictions of American Indians and reflects a wide range of social, political and cultural influences including the civil rights movement in the United States, new figuration movements in art of the 1970s, film, and pop art.

The exhibition features work from his mature Santa Fe period and includes a majority of his most iconic paintings including Self Portrait in the Studio, Chief Watching and Grandmother Gestating Father.

“The Bloch’s collection represents the finest collection, public or private, of Cannon’s work,” said Heard Museum Director and CEO David M. Roche, in a prepared statement. “It’s an honor, and a true thrill, to introduce these paintings, many of which haven’t been shown publicly for more than 25 years, to a whole new generation of people.”

Mr. Cannon is often referred to as the “James Dean” of the American Indian art world. Like Dean, Mr. Cannon was famously charismatic and deeply gifted; he was also tragically killed at the young age of 31, the press release stated.

A primary goal of the exhibit is to bring new attention to an under-recognized artist and make the case for including his work in the broader narrative of American art.

Self Portrait in the Studio, 1975, oil on canvas (From the Nancy and Richard Bloch Collection. Reproduced by permission of the Estate of T.C. Cannon. © 2017 Estate of T.C. Cannon.)

The exhibit will also feature woodblock prints, lithographs and drawings by Mr. Cannon. Visitors will be able to page digitally through Mr.

Cannon’s sketchbook that contains drawings and poems as well as song lyrics. A video remembrance of Mr. Cannon from the Colores series by the New Mexico PBS station KNME-TV will accompany the exhibition.

At the same time, two related exhibitions will open at the Heard Museum.

Lines and Codes traces the history of Plains Indian drawing from which Mr. Cannon’s work emerged. And It’s Your Turn provides family-friendly activities inspired by the Mr. Cannon exhibit suitable for children 8 years and up, the press release stated.

The Heard Museum in partnership with the Museum of New Mexico Press has published a book entitled Of God and Mortal Men: T.C. Cannon, available now for sale at the Heard Museum bookshop, Books and More, and on Amazon.com.

This will be the third exhibition opening in the new Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Grand Gallery. The previous exhibit, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera from the Jacque and Natasha Gelman Collection, was the most successful in the museum’s history setting attendance, revenue and membership records, the press release stated.

For more information on the upcoming exhibit, visit http://heard.org/exhibits/god-mortal-men-masterworks-t-c-cannon-nancy-richard-bloch-collection.

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