Glen Nipshank (b. 1961)
Big Stone Cree
Long Neck Vase
15 x 8 at the widest point
Gift from the Edward J. Guarino Collection
In honor of Kyle Aron Burns
Glen Nipshank uses traditional Native American pottery techniques to form dramatic sculptural works that transcend boundaries. Originally from Canada, Nipshank graduated from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1995 (Bearclaw Gallery). After working as an apprentice potter, Nipshank took the art world by storm with his dramatic red and white piece commemorating 9/11 (Meili 2006). Since then, Nipshank’s popularity has skyrocketed and he now exhibits in prestigious art museums and galleries in the United States and Canada.
Nipshank takes pride in using traditional pottery techniques, stating, “The clay will work with you if you respect it. In the work I do I create images and ideas—playful imagery, form, and serious monumental pieces” (Sun and Moon Gallery). Despite the importance Nipshank places on tradition, he is no stranger to innovation. Nipshank defies convention as a male potter in a traditionally female medium. Nipshank further pushes the boundaries of Native art through his pottery, as he uses dramatic asymmetry, monumentality, and experimental forms, locating his works in an increasingly sculptural dimension.
In Long Neck Vase, Nipshank creates a highly sensuous form through undulating curves that seemingly fold into one another. Through his innovative use of a double firing process, Nipshank transforms the pot’s surface into a dynamic flash of color and movement. As Nipshank describes, “the smoky thunderclouds are from the pit firing, a traditional Hopi method. I have many styles but this one is my forte.”