Fritz Scholder: Indian/Not Indian

November 1, 2008–August 16, 2009
Washington, DC

This comprehensive two-city exhibition illuminates the achievements of one of the most influential American artists of the 20th century, the late Fritz Scholder (1937–2005).

Featuring 135 paintings, works on paper, and sculptures drawn from major public and private collections, including the color-saturated canvases for which the artist is famous, Indian/Not Indian opens concurrently at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., and at NMAI's George Gustav Heye Center in New York. The Washington exhibition surveys Scholder's forty-plus years as a working artist, with particular emphasis on his groundbreaking and controversial Indian paintings from the 1960s and 1970s. The New York exhibition focuses on the artist's works from the 1980s and 1990s, when he stopped using overt Indian imagery and explored mythical beings, the afterlife, and the unknown.

Indian/Not Indian is organized around a central paradox of Scholder's life and work—his complex identity as a person of French, German, English, and American Indian ancestry. The first retrospective since his death, the two exhibitions illuminate Scholder's unique contribution to American Indian and American art history.

This exhibition was also on view at the National Museum of the American Indian in New York, N.Y., November 1, 2008–May 17, 2009.