Brian D. Tripp

Making Medicine Box Set #1, Almost Found Its Mark

Brian D. Tripp

Making Medicine Box Set #1, Almost Found Its Mark



Edition Size



ball pen, Collage, Hand-painting, Ink, Marker pen


Box set


17 × 21 in



$ 8,600.00

1 in stock

This unbound portfolio of ten powerful expressionistic drawings illuminates Karuk life and beliefs with passion and humor providing an instructive window into one of the few indigenous peoples in North America who have not been forced out of their land of origin. Images of the forked branches used for archery practice and other icons hold myriad symbolic meanings both oblique and universal. The drawings are all on the back of recruiting posters for Native American doctors issued by the California Rural Indian Health Board, Inc., and were created from 1984 through 1986. These are some of the last works of Brian D. Tripp’s that are still dated. In the 1990s Brian disavowed the use of Western European chronological designations on his artwork.
Brian D. Tripp is a well-loved and honored activist, artist, elder, dancer, poet, singer of the Karuk Nation and is well-known throughout the West Coast and beyond. Brian and other members of his family have been instrumental in and acclaimed for reviving Karuk traditions and integrating them into current Karuk culture.
In 2021 Tripp had a major retrospective exhibit at Humboldt State University and a group of 4 of his paintings was acquired by the S.F. MoMA. In 2019 he was awarded the California Living Heritage Award from the Alliance for California Traditional Arts — only the third time in the Fresno-based nonprofit’s 20-plus year history that its highest honor for lifetime achievement had been presented. Brian D. Tripp is honored both as a traditional dancer and singer, and an enigmatic, outspoken contemporary artist and poet in his Northern California Karuk Tribal community and beyond. Tripp uses his artwork to demonstrate his commitment to his community and Native American culture and his lifelong devotional interest in giving life to traditions and history. Tripp’s art provides a new perspective on imagery familiar to the artist and Native American tradition: motifs from basket work, arrowheads, ceremonial objects, and Karuk regalia – symbols passed down for generations are reinvigorated by Tripp’s use of vibrant color and formal geometric iconography. His contemporary versions pay homage to the inherent power of images long in use.
Brian D. Tripp has maintained his creative practice and exhibited his art for over 40 years. His work has been exhibited at the New Museum, New York; Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento; Oakland Museum of California; and New York’s Museum of Art and Design. And are in the permanent collections of the Berkeley Art Museum, Crocker Art Museum, Heard Museum, Morris Graves Museum of Art, The Oakland Museum of California, Washington State Museum, and others. His unique books have been collected by the Library of Congress, University of California Berkeley, Stanford Yale, the Getty Research Institute, Harvard, Yale, and numerous other libraries and Museums across the world.