"Lewis and Clark did not proceed as guests in a foreign land, but as conquerors ... Clairmont's print leads us to ask: 'What if Lewis and Clark needed passports and what if their passage had been denied?'"
School trips to the Paris Gibson Square Museum where the piece was on display were canceled as the controversy raged in the mid-1990s.
As well-known American Indian artist and poet Gail Tremblay explained, "any native person with a sense of history understands the content of this work instantly," recounting the hand America's earliest presidents had in destroying the Indian culture.
Comment: Indian Country Passage Denied is a good idea, but the execution doesn't "wow" me. Nice colors, but I don't see the background reflecting Indians' "rich past."
But Paha Sapa does wow me. The Indians see skulls instead of heads...how great is that? I don't think you have to be Native to understand the context or the message.
For more examples of controversial art, see Scholder Broke Vow, Rules and Provocative Art About Indians.