Market Snapshot: Fritz Scholder
The expressionist’s market is hot.
Native American, 1937–2005
Altamira Fine Art
Born in Breckinridge, Minnesota, of German and Luiseno Indian ancestry, Fritz Scholder is best known for his “Indian” series of the 1960s and 1970s, which challenged stereotypical depictions of Native Americans with bold, unsentimental portrayals of contemporary reservation life. While these works remain popular at auction (17 of his top 20 lots belong to the “Indian” series), collectors of both American Indian and international contemporary art are beginning to buy beyond this well-known body of work.
The abstraction Long Window (1988), for instance, went under the hammer at a Sotheby’s contemporary art sale in 2008 for $40,625 (premium), a record that has been surpassed in private sales. “I have firsthand knowledge of private sales from the ‘Millennium’ series, ‘Human in Nature’ series, and ‘Vampire’ series selling above the Sotheby’s auction record,” Altamira Fine Art’s executive director Mark Terrant told artnet News.
After taking a hit following the 2008 financial crisis, Scholder’s prices are on the rebound.
Terrant predicts that Scholder’s market will appreciate as collectors discover the diversity of his oeuvre. “He is a bankable artist with an incredible story and artworks boldly addressing the fears, mystery, and turmoil of being human,” said Terrant. “With paintings already moving in the $65,000 to $85,000 range, as more of the important work comes to market, we will see sales at auction passing the $100,000 mark.”
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