Born in North Dakota on the Standing Rock Reservation, multi-disciplinary artist Cannupa Hanska Luger comes from Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara, Lakota, Austrian, and Norwegian descent. His work communicates stories of complex Indigenous identities coming up against 21st century challenges, including human alienation from and destruction of the land to which we all belong. He provokes diverse publics to engage with Indigenous peoples and values apart from the lens of colonial social structuring.
Luger’s practice combines critical cultural analysis with dedication and respect for the diverse materials, environments, and communities he engages. He is known for his ceramic innovations, interpreting the material with patience and experimentation. He also tells stories using fiber, steel, cut-paper, video, sound, performance, monumental sculpture, land art installation, and social collaboration.
Recent, notable works include The Mirror Shield Project, a social engagement work which invited the public to create mirrored shields for water protectors at Standing Rock and has been formatted for actions across the nation; Everything Anywhere, an interactive monumental head sculpture made of ceramic, steel, fiber and sound which acknowledges nature through matriarchal form; and Old Dominion, a ceramic buffalo skull series and land art installation which interprets America's continued forced narrative onto the land through the legacy of colonization.
Luger holds a BFA in studio ceramics from the Institute of American Indian Arts. He was recipient of the 2016 Native Arts & Cultures Foundation National Artist Fellowship Award and has participated in artist residencies and institution lectures throughout the nation. He maintains a studio practice in New Mexico. His work is collected and exhibited internationally.
Cannupa Hanska Luger's work has been noted as "a modern look at ideas of colonization, adaptability and survival as major components to the development of culture” by Western Art Collector Magazine and The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation noted that "Luger could well rise to be one of those artists whose caliber is unmatched and whose work will be studied by students to come, thus furthering the path for many more contemporary Native artists."
Cannupa Hanska Luger has been exhibited at Radiator Gallery New York NY; L.A. Art Show Los Angeles CA; La Bienalle di Venezia Verona, Italy; Art Mur Montreal, Quebec; Museum of Northern Arizona Flagstaff AZ; Rochester Art Center Rochester MN; Navy Pier Chicago, IL; University of Alaska Fairbanks, AK; National Center for Civil and Human Rights Atlanta GA; Blue Rain Gallery Santa Fe, NM, among others. Luger is also in the permanent collections of The North America Native Museum Zürich, Switzerland; The Denver Art Museum Denver, CO; The Museum of Contemporary Native Arts Santa Fe, NM; and The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art Norman, OK.