Super Indian

Fritz Scholder, 1967–1980
Oct 4, 2015–Jan 17, 2016

Fritz Scholder, Super Indian No. 2, 1971. Oil paint on canvas; 90 × 60 in. Promised Gift from Vicki and Kent Logan to the Collection of the Denver Art Museum. © Estate of Fritz Scholder.

Fritz Scholder, Indians with Umbrellas, 1971. Lithograph: 22 × 30 in. Denver Art Museum: Purchased with Modern & Contemporary Department acquisition funds, 1973.53.7. © Estate of Fritz Scholder.

Fritz Scholder, Insane Indian No. 26, 1972. Acrylic paint on canvas; 68 × 54 in. Promised Gift from Vicki and Kent Logan to the Collection of the Denver Art Museum. © Estate of Fritz Scholder.

Fritz Scholder, American Portrait with One Eye, 1975. Acrylic paint on canvas; 80 × 68 in. Collection of Vicki and Kent Logan. © Estate of Fritz Scholder.

Fritz Scholder, American Portrait with Flag, 1979. Oil paint on canvas; 40 × 35 in.. Courtesy of American Museum of Western Art—The Anschutz Collection. Photo courtesy William J. O’Connor. © Estate of Fritz Scholder.

Fritz Scholder, Hopi Dancers, first state, 1974. Lithograph; 22¼ × 30 in. Denver Art Museum: Bequest of the estate of Suzanne W. Joshel, 2009.480 © Estate of Fritz Scholder.


Closed: October 4, 2015–Jan 17, 2016
Hamilton Building - Level 3

Fritz Scholder once vowed never to paint Indians. He claimed he was not an American Indian artist, but he was. He claimed his art was not political, but it polarized the art world. For every position he took, he also explored the opposite perspective.

Super Indian: Fritz Scholder, 1967–1980, is a groundbreaking exhibition of more than 40 rarely seen, monumental paintings and lithographs by the renowned twentieth-century artist. It is the first to explore how Scholder blended figurative and pop art influences to create colorful, compelling, and revolutionary images.

Though he was influenced by abstract expressionists including Willem de Kooning and Franz Kline, as well as painters Francis Bacon, Francisco de Goya, and Paul Gauguin, Fritz Scholder’s work was purely his own. His art reveals the raw reality of being an American Indian.

This exhibition draws its title from the iconic painting Super Indian No. 2 (above), which is one of nine Scholder paintings promised as gifts to the DAM by collectors and museum supporters Vicki and Kent Logan. It begins with Scholder’s controversial Indian series, started in 1967, and ends with his 1980 Indian Land paintings, which marked a seismic shift in palette and subject matter.

Visitors to Super Indian will be taken on a thematic exploration following the development of Scholder’s style and themes: Early Indian series, pop art, psychological portraiture, stereotypes and representation and dark, mysterious subjects. Following its Denver debut, the exhibition will travel to the Phoenix Art Museum (Feb. 26, 2016–June 5, 2016) and the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in Overland Park, Kansas (June 23, 2016–Sept. 18, 2016).

Super Indian: Fritz Scholder, 1967-1980, is organized by the Denver Art Museum. It is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. It is presented with generous support from Vicki and Kent Logan. Additional funding provided by John Brooks Incorporated, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, the donors to the Annual Fund Leadership Campaign, and the citizens who support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD). Promotional support is provided by 5280 Magazine, CBS4, Comcast Spotlight, and The Denver Post.

News & Stories

  • Indian No 1 by Fritz Scholder
    Blog: Behind the Scenes

    Native Artists Discuss Fritz Scholder

    Fritz Scholder was a polarizing person and artist, but his impact on American Indian art is not in doubt. Native artists shared their views about Scholder with associate curator John Lukavic. More

  • Which New Denver Art Museum Catalog is Right for You?
    Blog: Behind the Scenes

    Which New Denver Art Museum Catalog is Right for You?

    With the ability to observe an entire collection of art within the pages of a single book, each of these four new catalogs is bound to inspire reflection and discovery. But how does one decide which catalog to choose? Take our quick quiz to find out which catalog is the perfect fit for you. More

  • Joan from the play Joan and Charlie Discuss Tonight's Theme
    Blog: Behind the Scenes

    Celebrate Halloween Eve at Untitled

    Untitled: Flip Side on Friday, October 30 (6–10 pm) is here to uncover hidden mysteries in the collection and turn the town upside down in a night of museum mayhem. It’s the last Untitled of the year and we’re leaving no stones unturned to bring you a great All Hallow’s Eve eve here at the Denver Art Museum. More

Related Exhibitions

  • Revolt 1680/2180: Virgil Ortiz

    Revolt 1680/2180

    Virgil Ortiz
    May 17, 2015–Apr 24, 2016

    Virgil Ortiz, a renowned artist from Cochiti Pueblo, New Mexico, uses contemporary art to blend historic events with futuristic elements. Set against Ortiz’s graphic murals, this exhibition features 31 clay figures and invites visitors to immerse themselves in a storyline that Ortiz created that begins with the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. More