Indian Power
Fritz Scholder
Indian Power
Fritz Scholder (American, Contemporary, 1937-2005): Indian Power, 1972. Oil on canvas. © This artwork may be protected by copyright. It is posted on the site in accordance with fair use principles.

"... I've always been interested in putting down strong images, because one thing I don't like is what I call 'weak' painting or a weak subject... The first thing, it seems to me, that makes painting, apart from anything else, is color. And color's very personal, but I consider myself a colorist, even in dark paintings... But the essence of paint is color, and this is a painting. In a way one, I think, has to transcend the subject simply because every subject today is a cliché. We have seen everything on television and billboards, and so we've been bombarded, and so it's a great challenge for the artist, it seems to me, to come up with anything that's going to—whatever subject—which is going to be interesting enough to look at more than a couple minutes." (Fritz Scholder)

(quote: Oral history interview with Fritz Scholder, 1995 March 3-30, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.)

"Fritz Scholder broke almost every rule there was for a American Indian artist. He combined pop art with abstract expressionism. He shunned the sentimental portrayal of traditional Indians and in so doing helped pave the way for artists who followed." (© 2014 NPR)

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'Fritz Scholder's mix of Expressionisism and Native American imagery is credited with revitalizing Indian art in the 1960s and '70s. His art is in ... the National Gallery and the National Museum of American Art in Washington, the Museum of Modern Art in New York ... style is well known for its distortions, explosive brushwork and vivid colors. His series of works explore the themes of Indians Fritz Scholder won the American Achievement of the Arts award... ' (Donna Rose, © Art Brokerage, Inc.)