June 16, 2009

Allan Houser's art

The sculptures of Allan HouserAllan Houser (1914-1994) has been credited with reviving the art of stone sculpture in the United States. In 1992 he was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President George Bush, becoming the first Native American to receive the nation’s highest honor for artists and joining the ranks of luminaries such as Georgia O'Keeffe, Marian Anderson, Ella Fitzgerald, and Aaron Copeland.

Monumental, intimate, and steeped in history, his sculptures have been internationally acclaimed and are included in collections of the Smithsonian Institution, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the White House, and the British Royal Collection. In 1985 his monumental bronze Offering of the Sacred Pipe was dedicated at the United Nations building in New York City.
Allan Houser--Featured Inventory

Allan Houser Inc., Sculpture Garden and Galleries

Unconquered claims Allan Houser is the greatest Native American artist. That may well be true.

Almost all his pieces are interesting, and many of them are stunning. I love the combination of abstraction and realism that appears frequently in his work.

The film says Houser never portrayed violence--assuming you don't call an Indian aiming an arrow at the sky "violent." His figures are proud, noble, dignified--often literal pillars of strength.

Unlike most artists of Native subjects, he puts women at the center of his work. They're as solid and grounded as the rocks that anchor the earth.

About the only thing that bugs me is the way all his faces have the same pursed-lip look. But that's a minor detail in an impressive body of work.

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