Oklahoma Contemporary
Benjamin Harjo Jr., Before the Tears
A bright, colorful image of a humanoid figure with a repeating pattern behind it and geometric patterns in the foreground

Patterns of Knowing

Patterns of Knowing

Mary LeFlore Clements Oklahoma Gallery
May 18 – Oct. 23, 2023

Opening Celebration | 5-7 p.m. May 18 | 6 p.m. Artist Talk
Free tickets coming soon

Patterns of Knowing features works by three artists — Jordan Ann Craig, Benjamin Harjo Jr. and Jeri Redcorn — exploring how patterns sourced from Indigenous cultures embody a lineage of ideas. Through ceramics, paintings, prints and drawings, they consider the relationship between pattern and information.

A black, white and gray pattern of horizontally repeating elongated triangles
Jordan Ann Craig, Sharp Tongue II

Craig (b. 1993, San Francisco; Northern Cheyenne Nation) paints large-scale canvases with symmetrical, repeated blocks of color in various hues. Her work draws upon the color and rhythm of Indigenous patch- and beadwork to visually articulate time, space and intimate experiences. Craig’s paintings embody the continent’s long-standing relationship with abstract art.

Harjo Jr. (b. 1945, Clovis, N.M; Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma) creates colorful prints and paintings often featuring figures in motion against a background frieze of symbols. He experiments with Shawnee and Seminole patterns to generate perspective depth within his compositions. Harjo’s engagement with triangles, squares and stripes celebrates the possibilities of Indigenous pictorial vocabularies.

Redcorn (b. 1939, Albuquerque, N.M.; Caddo Nation of Oklahoma) embraces the mathematical and philosophical principles behind Caddoan pottery. Her ceramics feature geometric patterns that weave and intersect to form scrollwork meandering across the surface of vessels. Redcorn’s work evokes the path that heritage Caddo designs have traveled between communities and meditates on their personal and collective significance.

Patterns of Knowing highlights artworks in which rhythmic, repeated arrangements of shapes, colors and symbols carry knowledge across generations. The exhibition explores how Indigenous artistic principles continue to move and evolve between media, connecting ideas from past to present.


Benjamin Harjo Jr., Before the Tears, 1995. Gouache on paper. 29 x 37 inches. Collection of Joe and Valerie Couch.

Jordan Ann Craig, Sharp Tongue II, 2022. Acrylic on canvas. 70 x 70 x 2.5 inches. Image courtesy of TiA Collection, Santa Fe.


Monday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Closed Tuesday

Wednesday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Thursday 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Friday - Sunday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

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Visit us at 11 NW 11th St.
Oklahoma City, OK 73103
Phone: 405 951 0000
Fax: 405 951 0003

Oklahoma Contemporary
P.O. Box 3062
Oklahoma City, OK 73101

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