Joe Fedderson: Vital Signs
by Rebecca Dobkins
Publisher: University of Washington Press
Vital signs, the pulses, and patterns of the body are indicators of essential life functions. The powerful work of Joe Feddersen (Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation) reveals, like vital signs themselves, the state of the human condition from the vantage point of a contemporary artist who has inherited an ancient aesthetic tradition.
Arising from Plateau Indian iconographic interpretations of the human-environment relationship, Feddersen's prints, weavings, and glass sculptures explore the interrelationships between contemporary urban place markers and indigenous design. Following in the footsteps of his Plateau Indian ancestors who "spoke to the land in the patterns of the baskets," Feddersen interprets the urbanscapes and the landscapes surrounding him and transforms those rhythms into art forms that are both coolly modern and warmly expressionistic.