Indian Image

Media - 1973.151 - SAAM-1973.151_1 - 4471
Copied Fritz Scholder, Indian Image, 1972, acrylic on canvas, stretcher: 68 1880 in. (173.0203.2 cm.), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the artist, 1973.151

Artwork Details

Indian Image
stretcher: 68 1880 in. (173.0203.2 cm.)
Credit Line
Gift of the artist
Mediums Description
acrylic on canvas
  • Landscape — plain
  • Indian
  • Equestrian
Object Number

Artwork Description

The figure in Indian Image appears to be just that: a flat image, as if cut from paper and pasted onto a colorful background.

An artist of Luiseño and European ancestry, Fritz Scholder both did and did not identify as American Indian, and early in his career, he chose not to paint American Indian subjects. He changed his mind in the 1960s, after encountering countless artworks that depict American Indian people two-dimensionally, as doomed figures existing only in a romanticized past.

By contrast, Scholder asserted a modern American Indian aesthetic. Enlivened by pop-art color and energetic brushwork, his paintings are pointedly contemporary in style, even when based--as is?Indian Image--on a?historical photograph.