Judith Ostrowitz’s book will examine contemporary Native North American art through an international, cosmopolitan perspective. Publications and exhibitions on the subject of contemporary Native North American art persist in foregrounding heritage in the understanding of recent works, even those in new media. Many native artists have responded to these tactics with outcries against essentialism and resulting art world marginalization. Ostrowitz will address international influences on contemporary Native American artists like Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, who develops Haida Manga in reference to Japanese graphic novels; Lorenzo Clayton, who studies esoteric traditions ranging from mystical Christianity to alchemy to Navajo ritual; and Don Yeomans, who connects a sinuous version of the Northwest Coast graphic tradition to the ornamental spirals, interlaces, and knot work associated with Celtic art.
Judith Ostrowitz has taught at Yale, Columbia, Barnard, New York University, and the City College of New York, and has worked on curatorial projects for the Newark Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Peabody Museum of Natural History. She has published many articles and two books on the subject of Native American art, most recently, in relation to globalization, Interventions: Native American Art for Far-Flung Territories (University of Washington Press, 2009). She holds a PhD in art history from Columbia University and an MA in anthropology from the New School. She is also an artist, and has exhibited her mixed media work at the Hudson Guild Gallery, Kiana Malekzadeh Gallery, and the Sculpture Center.