Fritz Scholder was an enrolled member of the Luiseno tribe and his works, recognized for their insight and powerful commentary on publicly held stereotypes of Native Americans, propelled him into a position of prominence as an artist, and forever changed the concept of “Indian artist”. Scholder’s style is well known for its distortions and explosive brushwork. His works explore the themes of Indians, ancient Egypt, mystery women and flowers, among other subjects.
As a high school student in South Dakota, his teacher was Oscar Howe, a noted Sioux artist. After receiving a John Hay Whitney Fellowship, Scholder moved to Tucson and became a graduate assistant in the Fine Arts Department. After graduating 1964, Scholder taught at the newly formed Institute of American Indians Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He was the first to paint Indians with American Flags, beer cans, and cats, targeting national clichés and the guilt of the dominant culture. Scholder resigned from I.A.I.A. in 1969 and traveled to Europe and North Africa. He returned to Santa Fe and acquired a small adobe house and studio on Canyon Road where he worked for much of his life.
In 1994, Leonard Baskin invited Scholder to Northampton, MA to collaborate on a major book, A Book of Plains Indians, at Baskin’s Gehenna Press. R. Michelson Galleries is pleased to present the works of these two masters.