Despite once vowing never to paint Native American subjects, Fritz Scholder’s unflinching and provocative portrayals of Indigenous life helped dismantle traditional precepts of Native American art. Disdainful of stereotypical and sentimental imagery of Native Americans, Scholder was spurred by the experimental output of his students at the Institute of American Indian Arts to begin his “Indian series” in 1967. These large-scale paintings, characterized by vigorous brushwork, distorted figuration, and unnatural, high-keyed colors, sometimes unnerved viewers, but they also raised critical questions surrounding notions of cultural identity and representation.
Source: Los Angeles Times, Tamarind Institute. Image Courtesy of Meridel Rubenstein.