Contemporary Native Art to Russia

This website shows the art and artists involved in the June-July 2012 Ekaterinburg Museum of Fine Art and the September-October 2012 Novosibirsk State Museum of Art biennial.

Lynne Allen

M.F.A., University of New Mexico

Lives in Boston, Massachusetts

Lynne Allen, a member of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in South Dakota, is a professor of printmaking at Boston University and the director of the School of Visual Arts. Allen’s work is shaped by not only her experiences but also by her heritage as well as her imagination, combining personal experiences with fiction. All of her matriarchs have been members of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in South Dakota, and all were sent away to government boarding schools with the plan to realign their cultural heritage. All became outsiders in both the Native and the non-Native world. 

The truth of Ms. Allen’s heritage and how she is perceived plays an important role in her work. She writes, “I can trace my Native heritage back six generations to Ita ta Win (Wind Woman), born in the 1830’s, … yet I am a white woman. If you meet me you don’t believe I have native blood. This fact, how we view one another, plays a big part in my image making. Everyone always misunderstands everyone else.” In her images, she explores the world as something that is both known and unknown, both real and imagined, referencing events that are decidedly Native, such as porcupine quills and small pox, as well as images that are more general, including the homeless, prisoners, police, bullets, fish hooks, and rusted beer caps. All of these are linked, either through threat, rewritten histories, or metaphor to create a space where the viewer has a chance to imagine the world where they coexist.

Ms. Allen has written articles for The Tamarind Papers, GRAPHEON (Czech Republic) and Contemporary Impressions  (Atlanta, Georgia). Ms. Allen lectures widely in North America as well as abroad in such countries as Poland, Estonia, Israel, Russia, Sweden, Jordan, Canada and South Africa. She has had solo exhibitions in New York, New Jersey, North Dakota, Massachusetts, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Belgium, Sweden, and Australia, in addition to many group exhibitions. In addition, she has curated exhibitions in the United States, as well as Russia, China and toured an exhibition through the Middle East and Africa. She has had artist residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Plains Art Museum, as well as residencies in Canada, Sweden, Belgium, Russia, Jordan and South Africa. Allen’s honors include two Fulbright Scholarship (USSR 1990, Jordan 2004-05), two Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Research Grants, a New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowship, a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Grant, a Whiting Foundation Grant, a Pew Fellowship finalist, and a distinguished international award for a residency at Grafikens Hus, Stockholm, Sweden.

For more information, go to 

Lynne Allen, Rising Above, lithograph on Chine-colle, 2003

Lynne Allen, A, B, C's of Civilization, lithography with nineteenth-century vellum on Chine-colle, 2005