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Allan Houser: An American Master (Chiricahua Apache, 1914-1994)

Allan Houser: An American Master (Chiricahua Apache, 1914-1994)

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Allan Capron Haozous, who would become known to the world as Allan Houser, was born in 1914 near Fort Sill, Oklahoma, the first child born into the community of Chiricahua Apaches following their release after decades of internment by the United States Government. After completing his basic education at the government Indian Schools, he was forced to return home at an early age to assist in the operation of the family farm. Driven by an inner muse, however, he left home in 1932 at the age of twenty to attend the Painting School at the Santa Fe Indian School. Although immersed in Apache tradition, he was fascinated by art from all over the world, and he resisted the Indian School's attempt to force him to work in what the faculty considered the only proper "Native-American style" of flat forms, bright colors, and "Indian" subject matter. He mastered a number of styles ranging from straightforward representation to pure abstraction, and throughout his career he remained alert to developments in the work of his contemporaries. Until his death in 1994 he continued to evolve, to rethink his approach, and to remaster his art. Today, his work, particularly his sculpture, can be seen in a number of collections both in the United States and abroad.

Allan Houser is the first book to assess the artist's entire career, from his earliest student paintings to the soaring monumental sculpture of his late years. The author, noted art historian W. Jackson Rushing III, shows how the artist developed his unique gifts, not in opposition to, but as a participant in the most important movements of twentieth-century art. Iillustrated with many color photographs taken expressly for this volume and supplemented with photographs from the Houser family archives, the book will offer a comprehensive view of the career of this remarkable artist.

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