Cree artist reframes history with commission to hang in the Met’s main entrance

NEW YORK — Canadian Cree artist Kent Monkman is unveiling two paintings commissioned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art to hang in the New York institution’s main entrance.

The installation, titled “mistikosiwak” (“Wooden Boat People”), is set to open in the Met’s Great Hall on Thursday.

The works feature Monkman’s supernatural, gender-fluid alter-ego, Miss Chief Eagle Testickle, who reverses the colonial gaze to put forward a new artistic vision of Indigenous Peoples.

The large-scale paintings also contain references to works in the Met’s collection, challenging European and North American depictions of Indigenous subjects.

In an interview posted on the Met’s website, Monkman says he sees this as a “turning point” for an institution that is encouraging shared perspectives on its own history.

The Met exhibition runs from Dec. 19 to April 9, 2020. Monkman’s solo exhibition, “Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience,” is touring museums across Canada until 2020.