KU Alumnus Presents Pop-Up Art Exhibition at Phoenix Gallery | Arts & Culture


Cheyenne-Arapaho artist and University of Kansas alumnus Brent Learned is exhibiting his most recent collection at the Phoenix Gallery in downtown Lawrence.

Learned’s exhibition, titled “Indigenous Zenith,” combines elements of traditional Native American work with the vibrancy of pop art. Although Learned has experimented with combining genres before, the pandemic has allowed him to devote time to curating a new collection.

“I noticed a kind of trend towards the young collector,” Learned said. “They don’t collect the things their mothers and grandmothers used to collect, and it’s like anything, you kind of have to change and evolve over time.”

Reimagining iconic pieces by Basquiat, Lichtenstein and Warhol, Learned layered a Native American lens on the works of iconic pop artists.

“Brent’s new work is amazing and thought-provoking,” said Susan Shea, director of the Phoenix Gallery.

Award-winning artist and University of Kansas alumnus Brent Learned poses during his exhibition at the Phoenix Gallery on October 29.

Since graduating from college in 1993, Learned has done remarkable work with her Fine Arts degree. Last year, Learned collaborated with American funk rock band “Redbone” to design the art for their re-recorded version of “Come and Get Your Love”. Musical clip. Learned also has works on display at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC.

However, Learned said having the “KU connection” is unique to his projects he did in Lawrence.

Learned says he always calls his teachers when he needs advice, and he even drew inspiration for his exhibit from a piece by Keith Haring that hung in the Spencer Museum while Learned was a student.

“Any reason to go back to Lawrence, I do,” Learned said.

“Indigenous Zenith” will be on display at the Phoenix Gallery until November 23.

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