Rick Bartow: Things You Know But Cannot Explain

There are only a few days left to see this interesting exhibit at the Autry in Griffith Park.

Rick Bartow: Things You Know But Cannot Explain represents the artist’s first major retrospective. The exhibit  is regarded by the museum as a contribution to the substantial growing body of both art work and scholarship on contemporary Native artists. 

Bartow  who is a member of the Mad River Band Wiyot nation, established his art career in the 1980s following his service in Vietnam.  Following his service, as was the case for many veterans, Bartow struggled with PTSD and alcoholism and worked toward recovery. His artwork is vast. 

His work consists of large-scale paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures that often feature haunting combinations of animal and human forms, and are often both deeply personal and culturally relevant. Divided into thematic sections such as “Self,” “Dialogue,” and “Tradition,” this exhibition speaks directly to the personal and cultural aspects of traditional Native art within Bartow’s oeuvre while demonstrating his close engagement with the work of 20th-century masters, including Francis Bacon, Robert Rauschenberg, and Jean-Michel Basquiat.