Alan Michelson is a New York-based artist, curator, lecturer and Mohawk member of the Six Nations of the Grand River.
For over twenty-five years, he has been one of the leading practitioners of a socially engaged, critically aware, site-specific art grounded in local context and informed by the retrieval of repressed histories. Drawing upon themes from both indigenous and western culture, he has worked in a varied range of media and materials, among them painting, sculpture, photography, sound, video, glass, and stone.
Michelson’s work has been widely exhibited, in such venues as Sakahàn: International Indigenous Art, National Gallery of Canada (2013), the 5th Moscow Biennale (2013), and the 18th Biennale of Sydney (2012), and his work was recently featured in Unholding at Artists Space and The Western: A Mythology in Art and Cinema at the Montreal Museum of Fine Art (2017). His work is currently included in Indicators: Artists on Climate Change at Storm King Art Center, and in the upcoming Nature’s Nation: American Art and Environment at the Princeton University Art Museum.
He is the recipient of several awards, most recently the Macgeorge Fellowship, at the University of Melbourne, Australia, and past honors include an NEA Visual Artists Fellowship, Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Artist Fellowship, and Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship. His work is in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Canada and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.
His practice includes public art, and Mantle, his large-scale monument honoring Virginia’s Indian nations, was recently dedicated on Capitol Square in Richmond. Michelson is co-founder and co-curator, with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at the New School, of the Indigenous New York series.