Fritz Scholder

American, 1937 - 2005

Born in Breckenridge, Minnesota, Fritz Scholder became a prolific painter, sculptor, lithographer, teacher, mentor and bookmaker of Native American art in Arizona. Scholder's paternal grandmother was a member of the Luiseño tribe of Mission Native American.  He studied with Wayne Thiebaud at Sacramento College in California. He earned an MFA Degree from the University of Arizona.

In his work, he frequently showed the harsh, realistic side of Native Americans' lives and deaths, but some of his depictions are humorous such as Indians on horseback carrying umbrellas. His brush-work is generally swift, and the tone often sombre and surreal. A major influence on his work was the contemporary British artist, Francis Bacon, from whom Scholder adapted ironic distortions into his canvases.

Scholder says " is my intention not only to set up graphically a new visual experience for the viewer, but also to make a statement in regard to the society and land in which we, the descendants of the American Indian, live. I am well aware that my paintings are not literal, for to me some ideas require unique statements. I try to capture not only the physical, but the inner and even spiritual."


Selected Collections:

Museum of Modern Art, New York

The Hirschhorn Museum of Fine Arts, Washington,D.C.

National Collection of Fine Arts, Smithsonian Institute

Boston Fine Arts Museum


Source: AskArt Archives