Dwayne Wilcox: Skipped the Light Fandango
The original use for ledger paper was a place for keeping track of sums. Through centuries of seeking methods for chronicling history and exploring self expression, several Native American tribes utilized what materials were available to them at the time. Ironically, ledger paper became an important surface for which to do this. “It is a sort of bittersweet notion- the whole idea of ledgers and ledger art, and accounting for what has been taken and what we are given in exchange.” -Arthur Amiotte, 1995
What a delight then, to find a contemporary, young artist who has taken the medium to the next level. Comedic, clever and profound, Dwayne Wilcox’s ledger drawings are entirely about what life is like at the “moment.” “I am not trying to reinvent ledger art or speak for all Native peoples.” Mr. Wilcox is enrolled on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. He is an Oglala Lakota, born in South Dakota in 1957. He is entirely self taught - learning from friends and family. “I lived in Washington DC for a few years and I managed to go through every museum archive I came across that contained ledger art. Ledger art had such a deep feel and I found it the most versatile of all Lakota arts”.
Skipped the Light Fandango is a reference to a song by 1960’s band Procol Harum and possibly refers to bypassing the conventional ways and making your own personal history.
Alongside Wilcox's work, the exhibition will also feature historic ledgers created in the 19th century.