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Fritz Scholder Resumes Exploration of American Indian Mysticism, Pop Surrealism

October 15, 1989|KEVIN ALLMAN

The Marilyn Butler Gallery in Santa Monica is presenting a major exhibit of recent works of Fritz Scholder. The exhibit, which began Saturday and continues through Nov. 4, consists mostly of large-scale paintings from Scholder's series "Mystery Woman" and "Possession" and includes a large bronze and a triptych.

"In today's world, love, art and magic are greatly needed," said Scholder, whose exploration of Native American mysticism is as much a trademark of his work as is his molding of surrealist pop imagery. Modern American Indians and their problems--alcoholism, assimilation and the debasement of traditional Indian culture--are recurring themes in his prints and paintings.

One-quarter Indian by birth (his grandmother was a member of the Luiseno tribe), Scholder has described himself as "a non-Indian Indian." Critics have taken him to task for this outlook, claiming that his pop approach to the problems of Native Americans has occasionally reduced their humanity to kitsch.

Scholder, who has homes in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Santa Fe, N.M., is also a part-time Venice resident who participated in last summer's Venice Art Walk. Well-known in the art world for both his themes and his prolificacy, he took a sabbatical from exhibiting last year to travel, paint and write songs.

He returned to exhibition in March with a show at the Marilyn Butler Gallery in Scottsdale, where he debuted the new series "Possession," "Strawberry Fields" and "---?"

Fritz Scholder at the Marilyn Butler Gallery, 910 Colorado Ave., Santa Monica; (213) 394-5155. Open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Through Nov. 30. CRAFTS MARKET: The seventh L.A. Contemporary Crafts Market is coming to the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium for two weekends beginning Oct. 27. This year's collection of American craftsmanship includes handblown and etched glass, wood furniture, ceramics, textiles, wearable art and precious and ornamental jewelry.

The market will open Oct. 27 with a Halloween Night Preview Party from 6 to 10 p.m. Guests will get their first look at the work of 210 crafts designers, and the Trinidad Calypso Steel Drum Band will perform.

For the Halloween-minded, the first weekend also will feature continuous mask-making workshops led by mask maker Annie Hallatt. Hallatt will display original masks she created for the Broadway version of "Phantom of the Opera." Four other mask makers who work in media from leather to feathers will be on hand for advice and assistance. The workshop is free with admission to the Crafts Market.

Free parking will be available at the Santa Monica Civic on both weekends.

The L.A. Contemporary Crafts Market; Oct. 27 to 29 and Nov. 3 to 5 at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, 1855 Main St. Open 6 to 10 p.m. Fridays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. Information: (213) 936-1447. ART FAIR: Plans for the fourth international Los Angeles Contemporary Art Fair (ART/LA89), are being finalized. The event will again take place at the L.A. Convention Center. A gala benefit Dec. 6 will launch this year's exhibit, which will continue through Dec. 11.

Exhibiting will be 160 galleries from 55 different cities, including more than 26 galleries from the L.A. area.

Among the programs will be "Photography 150," with six international photo galleries celebrating the 150th anniversary of the invention of photography; "Cologne Now," featuring the works of six galleries from that European contemporary art center, and a special tour for children 9 to 12. There will be workshops on "Art for Health," "Art and Architecture" and "Corporate Collecting."

The inaugural gala Dec. 6 will be chaired by collector Doug Cramer and proceeds will benefit the L.A. Pediatric AIDS Consortium, a network of medical centers and clinics for children and mothers with HIV-related infection. Tickets for the gala are $150 and include first-viewing and first-purchase opportunities for all the works in ART/LA89.

General admission will be $10 per day; five-day passes are available for $35.

ART/LA89 at the L.A. Convention Center, 1201 S. Figueroa; Dec. 7 to 11; for information call (213) 271-3200; tickets, (213) 271-8463.

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