See Dakota Modern: The Art of Oscar Howe at the South Dakota Art Museum until September 17th.
Yanktonai Indian artist Oscar Howe (1915-1983) depicted Native American traditions through a modernist aesthetic painting style. He used his Dakota heritage to provide subject matter for his works. Born on the Crow Creek Reservation in South Dakota, he was sent to the Pierre Indian Boarding School in 1922 at age seven. In 1938, he graduated from Santa Fe Indian School where he was taught by Dorothy Dunn, who encouraged her students to use their Indian culture to inspire their artwork. Working largely in casein and gouache on heavy watercolor paper, Howe developed his mature style by 1960, which is marked by bright color, dynamic motion and pristine line. Howe was on the cutting edge of his generation in the exploration of ways to break out of the stereotypes imposed on Indian artists and to seek contemporary ways to communicate Indian values and ideas. Over a forty-year career Howe earned many honors and awards, including numerous grand and first prizes in national competitions; exhibitions in New York, London, and Paris; over fifty solo shows; and the Artist Laureate of South Dakota in 1954 among many others.