"We need art more than ever as we stagger toward the Millennium."
Art was always of central importance in Fritz Scholder's life. As a boy in the northern Midwest, he passed the long winter evenings by drawing and, although he was well into his teens before he ever met a professional artist, his family supported his artistic ambitions.
Although Scholder was of one-quarter Native American descent, he grew up far from any contact with Native American culture or artifacts. He was in graduate school when he had his first direct contact with the native peoples of the American Southwest. The Southwestern landscape, its people and their art had a profound influence on the artist, whose combination of native themes with the techniques of modern art made him a leader of what has sometimes been called the New American Indian Art movement. Scholder traveled widely, and although the arts and folklore of Europe and the Near East also informed his work, he remains best known for his painting of American Indians.
Today, Fritz Scholder's painting and sculpture are exhibited all over the world, and many of his works are in the permanent collections of major American museums.