fbpx

Super Indian – Denver Art Museum Features the Works of Native American Artist Fritz Scholder

Posted By Toyacoyah Brown October 26th, 2015 Last Updated on: October 15th, 2016

Fritz Scholder, American Portrait with One Eye, 1975. Acrylic paint on canvas; overall: 80 × 68 in. Collection of Vicki and Kent Logan. © Estate of Fritz Scholder.

Fritz Scholder, American Portrait with One Eye, 1975.
Acrylic paint on canvas; overall: 80 × 68 in. Collection of Vicki and Kent Logan.
© Estate of Fritz Scholder.

The Denver Art Museum (DAM) proudly announces their latest exhibit to open, Super Indian: Fritz Scholder, 1967–1980. Scholder is a renowned 20th century artist whose work has been featured globally, including exhibitions in China, France, Germany, Japan, Russia and the United States. Several books have been published on his contributions to the art world and Scholder has received many awards and honors for his work, including the Golden Plate Award from the American Academy of Achievement, the Arizona Governor’s Award and several honorary degrees. In case you're unfamiliar with Scholder, here's a little background on this complex and sometimes controversial Native artist.

Fritz Scholder, born in Breckenridge, Minnesota, was an enrolled member of the Luiseño tribe of Mission Indians, although he did not full identify as being Native American due to his upbringing.

“Scholder claimed he was not an American Indian artist, but he was. He claimed his art was not political, but it certainly polarized the art world. For every position he took, he also explored the opposite perspective,” said John Lukavic, associate curator of Native Arts at the DAM and curator of Super Indian. “But this artist was first and foremost a colorist who used figurative art to test the limits of what paint can express.”

Super Indian will feature more than 40 rarely seen, monumental paintings and lithographs by Scholder.

Fritz Scholder, Indian No. 1, 1967. Oil paint on canvas; overall: 20 × 18 in. Collection of Anne and Loren Kieve © Estate of Fritz Scholder.

Fritz Scholder, Indian No. 1, 1967.           Oil paint on canvas; overall: 20 × 18 in.
Collection of Anne and Loren Kieve
© Estate of Fritz Scholder.

Fritz Scholder, American Portrait with One Eye, 1975. Acrylic paint on canvas; overall: 80 × 68 in. Collection of Vicki and Kent Logan. © Estate of Fritz Scholder.

Fritz Scholder, American Portrait with One Eye, 1975.
Acrylic paint on canvas; overall: 80 × 68 in. Collection of Vicki and Kent Logan.
© Estate of Fritz Scholder.

Fritz Scholder, Indian at the Lake, 1977. Lithograph; overall: 22 × 32-1/4 in. Denver Art Museum: Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Harold Dinken, 1979.159 © Estate of Fritz Scholder.

Fritz Scholder, Indian at the Lake, 1977.
Lithograph; overall: 22 × 32-1/4 in.  Denver Art Museum: Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Harold Dinken,
1979.159 © Estate
of Fritz Scholder.

Fritz Scholder, Indians with Umbrellas, 1971. Lithograph; overall: 22 × 30 in. Denver Art Museum: Purchased with Modern & Contemporary Department acquisition funds, 1973.53.7 © Estate of Fritz Scholder.

Fritz Scholder,
Indians with Umbrellas, 1971. Lithograph; overall: 22 × 30 in. Denver Art Museum: Purchased with
Modern &
Contemporary Department
acquisition funds, 1973.53.7
© Estate of Fritz Scholder.

The DAM reached out to some Native artists across Indian Country to see what they had to say about Scholder. This quote comes from Jamie Okuma, whose work we've featured on PowWows.com before.

“Fritz was a Luiseño (Payomkawichum) by blood and a member of the La Jolla Band of Indians, which is also the tribe of which I am a member. As a child I was always aware of Fritz and the Scholders. I live directly across from his relatives. Scholder Lane is the street in front of my house. My mother Sandra, being an artist as well, was well aware of him and talked about him from time to time. I knew he had struggles with his identity and recall thinking it contradictory that he was famous for painting Indian imagery. He did, however, build a house here on the La Jolla Indian Reservation.

How much time was spent there, I don't know. Other than those things, the only other thought I've had about him was that I think it’s pretty [email protected]#%ing cool that arguably the most famous Indian artist comes from my reservation.”

– Jamie Okuma (Luiseño/Shoshone-Bannock mixed-media sculptor, fashion designer)

DAMFritz3

DAMFritz2

DAMFritz1

Super Indian will be on view at the Denver Art Museum in the level 3 modern and contemporary art galleries in the Hamilton Building October 4, 2015, through January 17, 2016. Super Indian is organized by the Denver Art Museum. Following its Denver debut, the exhibition will travel to the Phoenix Art Museum (Feb. 26, 2016 – June 5, 2016) and the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in Overland Park, Kansas (June 23, 2016 – Sept.18, 2016). For more information please visit http://denverartmuseum.org/.


Home » Native American Articles » Native American Art » Super Indian – Denver Art Museum Features the Works of Native American Artist Fritz Scholder

About Toyacoyah Brown

Toyacoyah Brown is an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation, currently living in Chicago. She received her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and an M.A. in Media Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. When she's not scouring the Internet for fun things to share with PowWows.com readers you can find her digging for vinyl in her local record store or curling up with a good book.



0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Free Email Series: What to Expect at Your First Pow Wow

PowWows.com