Grandmother Gestating Father (40/999), c. 1978
14 x 11 in
Framed: 23.50 x 19 in
“A woman of sun and blood ... A woman of the eternal breath of life ... A maiden of the eternal circle ...” These words, written by Kiowa and Caddo artist T.C. Cannon, are taken from the poem that his painting illustrates. Cannon’s works use striking color relationships and emphasize the juxtaposition of Native culture and Anglo-American society. This image depicts the artist’s grandmother, pregnant with his father, and the Washita River in Oklahoma, near where the artist grew up. It is important to note that the Washita River was also the site of a massacre in 1868, when General Custer’s soldiers invaded a peaceful Cheyenne camp, killing women and children, yet Cannon’s painting remains a celebratory work. A powerful depiction of multi-generational connection, Grandmother, Gestating Father and the Washita River Runs Ribbon-Like exhibits a joyous regard for the people and places that define the artist’s family heritage.