How to you describe Louise Erdrich, the Canadian author of seven novels (most recently the Booker Prize winning 1984) and two novellas?
Louise Erdrich as Louise Erdrich: “Warm, intelligent, passionate, bookish, curious.” Is she otherwise?
“Sure. She eats a lot and likes sports; she has a terrific sense of fashion and lip gloss; she likes avocado toast. That’s just how she is,” says Jessica Irmas, curator of Erdrich: An Artist’s Life, a new solo show currently running at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art. It’s an engaging and entertaining account of a woman, born in 1961, who has been an artist (still active in her 50s) since childhood and whose inextricable effects on American art have made her not only one of the major writers of her generation but also one of the most important figures in the rise of feminist contemporary art. In 1974, the year Erdrich first became a published author, “Her use of folklore, myth, and folk wisdom is a variation of contemporary Native American tradition,” says Irmas. “It adds the most contemporary strand of her writing.” (Erdrich, who started out as a sculptor but now handles writing-as-a-facilitation-tool, has shepherded artists such as Kehinde Wiley, Jim Shaw, and Kathy Grayson into the public eye.)
That hair is fabulous. Take a look at it in person.