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Duane Linklater, the Cree artist who once planted tipi poles in the heart of Manhattan

1 min read  ·  26 Mar 2023

Duane Linklater, pêyakotênaw (2018), copyright of the artist, courtesy of High Line Art.

Duane Linklater is a Cree artist who creates large-scale installations about the complexities of Indigenous identity and Canada's dark history of coercive assimilation.

Duane Linklater’s HENI score skyrocketed by 173% when his raw and immersive work went on show in the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. To find out more about the artist, check out his HENI News Dashboard.

The Ontario-based artist typically uses contrasting materials in his work, mixing natural and industrial objects. For example, his MCA Chicago installation includes tipi poles, a wooden pallet, refrigerator, and tie-down straps.

In the 2022 Whitney Biennial, Linklater showed what he describes as “non-functional” tipi covers, which he hung from rails. He left the tipi material outside to accumulate imprints of the land and then used organic dyes to create abstract patterns and textures.

In 2018, Linklater installed a series of tipi poles, which each supported a large hanging rock, along a stretch of the High Line, New York. The work was called pêyakotênaw, a reference to the Cree word for family.

Linklater won the Sobey Art Award, Canada’s prestigious prize for an artist under 40, in 2013, and is represented by Catriona Jeffries Gallery, Vancouver.