This week, we feature the late artist Fritz Scholder.
Above, top - Fritz and companion amongst the artwork in the 34th Midwestern at Rourke Gallery in 1993 [photo by T. Hunter Strand]. Above, bottom (left to right) - "Sarcophagus," lithograph, 1979; "Study for Another Shaman," bronze, 1985
Below - Installation photo of "Fritz Scholder: Life and Afterlife"—The Rourke's exhibit celebrating the 80th anniversary of Fritz's birth in October 2017.
"I'm interested in someone reacting to the work. And I don't much care if they react negatively or positively, as long as they react. I felt it to be a compliment when I was told that I had destroyed the traditional style of Indian art." —Fritz Scholder
Fritz Scholder (1937 – 2005) was born in Breckenridge, Minnesota, the fifth consecutive male of his family to bear the name. His paternal grandmother was a member of the Luiseño tribe of Mission Indians. Scholder studied at the University of Kansas, Wisconsin State University, and with Wayne Thiebaud at Sacramento College in California. He earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Arizona in 1964.
From 1964 to 1969 he taught painting and art history at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, influencing a generation of Native American artists and art students. Scholder's artworks, including paintings, prints, sculpture, and photographs, were post-modern in sensibility and somewhat Pop-influenced in execution as he sought to deconstruct the mythos of the American Indian. This was generally celebrated but sometimes earned the remonstration of his fellow Native Americans.
Scholder lived and maintained his studio in Scottsdale, Arizona until his passing in 2005.