Blackfoot Horsebacks

Currency:USD Category:Art Start Price:NA Estimated At:175,000.00 - 275,000.00 USD
Blackfoot Horsebacks
Blackfoot Horsebacks
Artist: Terpning, HowardDate of Birth: b. 1927
Medium: Oil on board
Dimensions: 30 x 24 inches
Signed: Signed lower right and dated 1977

Howard Terpning, the most celebrated contemporary artist of the American West, was born in Oak Park, Illinois and studied at the Chicago Academy and the American Academy of Art. He made his name as a commercial artist in Chicago and New York, and his images were featured in a variety of periodicals and in campaigns for numerous products. His posters for classic Hollywood movies, including The Sound of Music and Dr. Zhivago have become part of American film culture. When Winchester Arms hired him, Terpning rediscovered his old, first love of Native Americans and the West and he threw himself into the history and culture of the period. The Plains Indians, in particular, fascinated him and in 1975, he gave up his lucrative career in commercial art and headed West. Two years later, he settled in Tucson and answered his true vocation as a painter in the grand tradition of Catlin and Bodmer, Remington and Russell. Like them, Terpning combines superb draftsmanship, authenticity as regards the material cultures of the Plains peoples, and a storyteller’s gift. Not strictly realistic, Terpning’s technique—his way of containing a beautifully drawn figure within swirls and slashes of colors— illuminates the action and alludes to inner strength, memory, and turmoil, and, thus, externalizes the drama. In Blackfoot Horsebacks, the rise and fall of the land and the turbulence of the sky suggests imminent conflict. The two layers of hills tilt in opposite directions on the canvas, as if they are shifting, and the low, darkening sky indicates a coming storm. On the gallop, the two warriors steel themselves for action.