Fritz Scholder (American, 1937-2005) was a complex artist and one of the first Native Americans to be recognized for his significant contributions as a contemporary artist. A second-generation pop artist, Scholder first challenged cultural stereotypes of American Indians in the late 1960s. He developed a personal, colorfully abstract style that combines pop art with ideas found in expressionism, and his depictions of modern-day Indians revolutionized artistic representations of native peoples. The artist Theodore Waddell observed, Scholder “not only challenged assumptions but moved the needle of understanding.”
Scholder regularly worked on a large scale, and his paintings, as well as works on paper are bold, strikingly colorful compositions. Super Indian: Fritz Scholder, 1967-1980 is a groundbreaking exhibition featuring more than 40 works and is the first to examine the ways Scholder attacked stereotypes about Native Americans. Included in the exhibition are items from his initial and controversial Indian Series, begun in 1967, when Bonanza was still the most popular program on television. The exhibition concludes with his Indian Land paintings of 1980. Super Indian demonstrates how, in little more than a decade, Scholder worked against tradition and expectations to create contemporary compositions that reshaped the art of the American West.
Organized by the Denver Art Museum, Super Indian: Fritz Scholder, 1967-1980 brings together works from multiple private and public collections, including the Phoenix Art Museum. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue with essays by scholars, artists and collectors.
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Super Indian: Fritz Scholder, 1967–1980, is organized by the Denver Art Museum and is supported by Vicki and Kent Logan, Western Art Associates and Richard B. and Patricia E. Nolan.