Bob Haozous (Apache/Navajo/English/Spanish) b. 1943
"Woman in Love," 1983
Stainless steel, 18" x 53" x 8"
The Heard Museum, Phoenix, Arizona
Bob Haozous is one the most important Native sculptors of the Native American Fine Art Movement. His innovation and experimentation with materials pushes the boundaries of "Indian" art. The boundaries that his father, Allan Houser helped to define. He is best known for his monumental cut steel pieces which often deal with poignant topical issues. He approaches these issues with a bit of a bite and a good dose of humor. His injection of humor allows the serious issues to be more palatable and to have an universal presence.
Haozous has chosen to take back his Apache family name and to reject the anglo version -- Houser. This name was given to his father as a child in an Oklahoma Indian boarding school. Together Haozous and Houser represent the breath and depth of Native American sculpture. Haozous has been able to establish himself as a leading artist because of his father's encouragement and nurturing. As well, Haozous has encouraged and supported his father work.
"Woman in Love," is a joyful celebration of love and life. The figure floats in ecstacy. Her angelic smile is echoed by the crescent curve of her body. The surface of the stainless steel form is etched with buffalos, used by Haozous as a personal iconographic design element and as a direct reference to the stereotypical, romanticized past of the Indian. His interjection of human commentary is gentle and good natured.
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