T.C. Cannon: At the Edge of America at Peabody Essex Museum (PEM), March 3 – June 10, 2018

“The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) presents an exhibition celebrating one of the most influential and inventive Native American artists of the 20th-century, T.C. Cannon (1946-1978, Caddo/Kiowa). T.C. Cannon: At the Edge of America explores the dynamic creative range and legacy of an artist whose life was cut short at age 31. Through nearly 90 works, including 30 major paintings, works on paper, poetry and musical recordings, Cannon’s distinctive and affecting worldview shines through in this groundbreaking exhibition that is organized by PEM and will tour the country through 2019. This is the first major traveling exhibition of his work since 1990.

Deeply personal yet undeniably political, Cannon’s artwork adeptly channels his cultural heritage, experience as a Vietnam War veteran, and the turbulent social and political climate that defined 1960s and ‘70s America. Amid ongoing national and global conversations about ethnic identity, social justice, land rights and cultural appropriation, Cannon’s work continues to engage issues that are as relevant now as they were 50 years ago. “Never shying from the complexity and nuance of identity politics, Cannon interrogated American history and popular culture through his Native lens and showed us that Native American history and culture are integral to the American experience,” says Karen Kramer, exhibition curator and PEM’s Curator of Native American and Oceanic Art and Culture.” ౼ PEM

T. C. Cannon (1946–1978, Caddo/Kiowa), Two Guns Arikara, 1974–77. Acrylic and oil on canvas. Anne Aberbach + Family, Paradise Valley, Arizona. © 2017 Estate of T. C. Cannon. Photo by Thosh Collins

T. C. Cannon (1946–1978, Caddo/Kiowa), Self-Portrait in the Studio, 1975. Oil on canvas. Collection of Richard and Nancy Bloch. © 2017 Estate of T. C. Cannon. Photo by Addison Doty.

T. C. Cannon (1946–1978, Caddo/Kiowa), His Hair Flows Like a River, 1973. Oil on canvas. Anne Aberbach + Family, Paradise Valley, Arizona. © 2017 Estate of T. C. Cannon. Photo by Thosh Collins.

T. C. Cannon (1946–1978, Caddo/Kiowa), Waiting for the Bus (Anadarko Princess), 1977. Lithograph. Anne Aberbach + Family, Paradise Valley, Arizona. © 2017 Estate of T. C. Cannon. Photo by Thosh Collins.

T. C. Cannon (1946–1978, Caddo/Kiowa), Favorite Wife, 1972. Oil on canvas. Collection of George Oswalt. © 2017 Estate of T. C. Cannon. Photo by Carla Cain.

T. C. Cannon (1946–1978, Caddo/Kiowa), A Remembered Muse (Tosca), 1978. Woodcut. Anne Aberbach + Family, Paradise Valley, Arizona. © 2017 Estate of T. C. Cannon. Photo by Thosh Collins.

T. C. Cannon (1946–1978, Caddo/Kiowa), Small Catcher, 1973–78. Oil on canvas. Collection of Gil Waldman and Christy Vezolles. © 2017 Estate of T. C. Cannon. Courtesy of the Heard Museum, Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by Craig Smith.

T. C. Cannon (1946–1978, Caddo/Kiowa), Indian with Beaded Headdress, 1978. Acrylic on canvas. Peabody Essex Museum. © 2017 Estate of T. C. Cannon. Photo by Kathy Tarantola.

T. C. Cannon (1946–1978, Caddo/Kiowa), Buffalo Medicine Keeper, about 1974. Acrylic and oil on canvas. William E. Weiss Memorial Fund Purchase, Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Cody, Wyoming. © 2017 Estate of T. C. Cannon.

T. C. Cannon (1946–1978, Caddo/Kiowa), Cloud Madonna, 1975. Acrylic on canvas. Collection of Charles and Karen Miller Nearburg, promised gift to the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Dartmouth, New Hampshire. © 2017 Estate of T. C. Cannon.

T. C. Cannon (1946–1978, Caddo/Kiowa), On Drinkin’ Beer in Vietnam in 1967, after 1978. Lithograph. Private Collection. © 2017 Estate of T. C. Cannon. Photo by Allison White.

T. C. Cannon (1946–1978, Caddo/Kiowa), Collector #3, 1974. Acrylic and oil on canvas. Collection of Alexis Demirjian. © 2017 Estate of T. C. Cannon. Photo by Tim Nighswander/Imaging4Art.

T. C. Cannon (1946–1978, Caddo/Kiowa), Hopi with Manta, 1976. Oil on canvas. Anne Aberbach + Family, Paradise Valley, Arizona. © 2017 Estate of T. C. Cannon. Photo by Thosh Collins.

T. C. Cannon (1946–1978, Caddo/Kiowa), Law North of the Rosebud, 1971. Acrylic on canvas. Collection of Charles and Karen Miller Nearburg. © 2017 Estate of T. C. Cannon. Photo by Brad Flowers.

T. C. Cannon (1946–1978, Caddo/Kiowa), Abby of Bacabi, 1978. Oil on canvas. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma. © 2017 Estate of T. C. Cannon.

T. C. Cannon (1946–1978, Caddo/Kiowa), All the Tired Horses in the Sun, 1971–72. Oil on canvas. Tia Collection. © 2017 Estate of T. C. Cannon.

Portrait of T. C. Cannon, about 1965. Courtesy of Archives of the Institute of American Indian Arts.

Images courtesy Peabody Essex Museum.