Thursday, August 31, 2006

Allan Houser Retrospective at Heard Museum North

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Celebrate the incredible 60-year career of Allan Houser and learn about the Heard's long history of collecting and exhibiting his work when "Allan Houser: Shadows and Form" opens on October 7 at Heard Museum North. The exhibition will feature Houser's paintings and his masterful wood, stone and bronze sculptures.

Pushing the limits of art, Houser's artwork broke from conventions and challenged stereotypes about Native artists. The Heard Museum was one of the first Arizona institutions to exhibit his work. As early as 1948, his paintings appeared in the exhibition, "An Exhibit of Paintings by Noted Indian Artists of the Southwest." Since that time, the museum has built a collection of his work unmatched by other institutions. "Shadows and Form," curated by Tricia Loscher, pays tribute to the artist as sculptor, painter, teacher and musician.

Houser repeatedly broke new ground throughout this career. In 1937, he had his first one-person show at the Museum of New Mexico in Santa Fe and was the only American Indian to be represented at the National Exhibition of American Art in New York. The year 1939 proved to be a landmark time when Houser's paintings were exhibited at the Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco and the World's Fair, New York. That same year he exhibited paintings at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and at the Art Institute of Chicago. His first major sculpture "Comrade in Mourning," was completed in 1948 to honor American Indians who lost their lives in World War II. It was the first of more than 700 sculptures that he would create during the next five decades.

According to curator Tricia Loscher, "He did not portray the ugliness or agonies that exists in the world; the shadows and forms created in his art emphasized the beauty, strength and integrity of the human condition."

"Allan Houser: Shadows and Form" opens October 7, 2006, at Heard Museum North in North Scottsdale at the el Pedregal Festival Marketplace. It will be on display through May 2007. For images, contact Nicole Haas at or 602.251.0283.

[From a Heard Museum Press Release]

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