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Artist talk: Art’s treatment of the American Indian

by on April 12, 2013

White America has historically nursed a love-hate relationship with the continent’s native residents. American Indians have been viewed as the “noble red man,” possessing the highest ideals of individualism, or “savages” to be exterminated—sometimes at the same time. More recently, they’ve gained an standing as New Agey spiritualists, which possibly adds insult to injury.


The Utah Museum of Fine Arts explores these stereotypes and even attempts at realistic representations in its exhibit “Bierstadt to Warhol: American Indians in the West” that will be on view through Aug. 11. It’s an exhibit worth seeing.

One of the few Native Americans to be represented in the show is Kevin Red Star, whose work adorns this blog. Raised on the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana, Red Star will discuss the themes of his work and his growth as an artist—including having his work shown along with art giants Andy Warhol and Albert Bierstadt.

Thursday, April 18, 4:30 p.m. and it’s free.

Kevin Red Star (Crow/Absaroke, b. 1943), Crow Indian, 1975, oil on canvas, collection of Diane and Sam Stewart

Kevin Red Star (Crow/Absaroke, b. 1943), Tea Party, 1986, oil on canvas, collection of Diane and Sam Stewart

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