Museum of Contemporary Native Arts

Fritz Scholder: An Intimate Look

July 19, 2008 – June 7, 2009

scholderFritz Scholder An Intimate Look is a journey into the life work of one prolific and passionate artist. This experience of the seven series borrowed from the collections of Lisa Markgraf Scholder and Romona Scholder include: Indians Forever, Roma, Vampir, Possession, Human in Nature, Mystery Women and Millennium.

As early as the Indians Forever series, Fritz expresses the realities he experienced around him. For instance, Drunk Indian #2 (1972) and Dead Indian in Gallup (1973) give the viewer insight into the Indian. These are images of the reality of the post-colonial life Indian people experience today. With Drunk Indian #2 the figure engages you first and then the title has you taking another look, which is information one needs to know. Dead Indian in Gallup captures the viewer forever, no matter where you are, by revealing life in paintings about death.

The paintings, prints and sculptures, give the viewer a sense of Fritz Scholder through an investigation into who he was as a human/artist/shaman/martyr. This legacy of work is rich in color and expression. His world is a place of paint and personage like no other, with paintings, realities, passions and pursuits of knowledge where few tread.

N. Scott Momaday

Fritz Scholder was my friend. We spoke well of each other, and we made each other gifts. We were a camp of artists, he and I, the painter and the writer, within a larger camp of artists, wayfarers, and citizens of the world. I miss this man. He made a difference. In some real sense he defined an aspect of the human condition. He was richly endowed with talent, what might also be called perception, intelligence, or the gift of God. And he knew of his endowment. He saw the world as only he could see it, and he recorded his vision as only he could record it. When he stood before his easel he confronted a plane of infinite possibility, and he gloried in that confrontation. It was for him the best of all opportunities and challenges, and he was more than equal to both. One should not say too much about such a man and such an artist. It is best to let his work speak for itself, as it does beyond words. Let us say only that he was a great artist and that we are singularly blessed that, in his art, he remains among us.

Joseph Sanchez, Chief Curator and Interim Director