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UMFA: New “salt” Show Looks at Native Art in Museums

Salt Lake City – Contemporary artist Duane Linklater’s new exhibition at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts uses the UMFA’s permanent collection to honor unknown indigenous artists and draw attention to the way their works of art are transformed when presented in museums.

Duane LinklaterThe Ontario-based artist, an Omaskêko Cree from Moose Cree First Nation, is the eleventh artist in the UMFA’s ongoing salt series of semi-annual exhibitions showcasing work by emerging artists from around the world. salt 11: Duane Linklater opens Friday, February 27. The artist will discuss his work with Whitney Tassie, UMFA’s curator of modern and contemporary art, in a free event at 5 pm Thursday, February 26.

Linklater’s salt 11 show features 3-D printed plastic sculptures of three-dimensional objects and photographic copies of textiles from the Museum’s American Indian collection. “His work makes visible the complex and often unseen process of ethnographic transformation,” says Tassie. “His copying process physically expresses the loss of information—authorship, origin, cultural significance, and so on—that occurs as an indigenous work of art is translated into an ethnographic museum object.”

Linklater collaborated with the University of Utah J. Willard Marriott Library on the creation of the plastic sculptures using the library’s new 3-D printing facility.

For more information about the salt series and to read Tassie’s essay about Linklater’s work, please visit

About the Artist

Duane Linklater(Omaskêko Cree of Moose Cree First Nation, born 1976, lives North Bay, Ontario, CA) studies the migration and exchange of ideas, language, and memory and reveals the inconsistencies of knowledge and history through installation, performance, film, photography, and other media. He has bachelor’s degrees in fine art and native studies from the University of Alberta (2005) and a master’s degree in film and video from the Milton Avery Graduate School of Arts at Bard College (2012).

Linklater has had recent solo exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; the Maclaren Art Centre, Barrie, Ontario; and Thunder Bay Art Gallery, Ontario. In 2012, his film Modest Livelihood, made in collaboration with Brian Jungen, debuted at Walter Phillips Gallery in Banff, Alberta, as part of dOCUMENTA (13) and has been screening across North America and Europe ever since. Linklater won the Sobey Art Award, Canada’s preeminent prize for emerging artists, in 2013.