Friday, May 13, 2016

Super Indian


When I was at the Phoenix Art Museum a couple of weeks ago I saw an exhibit called Super Indian and I was introduced to an artist I had not heard of before, Fritz Scholder.  He was a Native American artist who became one to the first to be recognized for his contributions to contemporary art.  He challenged the cultural stereotypes of American Indians through works that were bold, colorful and uniquely abstract.


The description for this painting, his first in this series reads:

"When Scholder moved to Santa Fe in 1964 to teach art to Native American students at the Institute of American Indian Arts, he vowed never to paint and Indian.  Three years later he broke that vow and painted Indian No. 1 (left) as an experiment in how to depict Indian imagery in a new way."



















 
Scholder and his students looked at historic photographs of Native Americans for inspiration.  This one was inspired by a photo from an Arikara Medicine Ceremony.






























This one is titled American Portrait with One Eye.  It was done in 1975, eight years after he started his abstract series.






























This one is called End of the Trail and was painted in 1970.

I enjoyed seeing these paintings and learning about this man.  I can certainly see the influence he's had when I peruse the local galleries where Native American Art is shown.

15 comments:

Mo said...

Oh I love these paintings. Are you coming over in September?

Bill Nicholls said...

Good for him keeping his people alive

Weekend-Windup said...

Wonderful paintings. Nice to know about him!

Karl Demetz said...

Very strong colors.

Halcyon said...

Interesting that this exhibit was called Super Indian and not the more PC Native American or First Nations.
I like the pieces. Beautiful stuff!

Christine said...

Fascinating paintings! Glad he changed his mind!

William Kendall said...

Quite vivid, striking art!

RedPat said...

I particularly like the Portrait with One Eye, Sharon!

Jacob said...

At first I didn't like his work at all...then I spent some time looking more closely and found I was strangely drawn to his subjects. It's all very good!

Lois said...

They are fascinating paintings Sharon. I particularly like that last one.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

I think his work is brilliant Sharon,such vibrant colour.. what a thrill to see it close up.

Bob Crowe said...

We saw that show when we were last in town two years ago. Must be semi-permanent. Striking and disturbing.

Steve Reed said...

Those are terrific paintings. I wish I could see this show. That last one was clearly inspired by Frederick Remington's famous "End of the Trail" sculpture. He has a great sense of color, doesn't he?

Jack said...

"End of the Trail" is getting a lot of coverage, isn't it?

Gunn said...

I could have bought one, no two of these.... if it would not have been over my budget. :)