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July 31, 1994|CHARLES SOLOMON

THE AMERICAN INDIAN PARFLECHE: A Tradition of Abstract Painting by Gaylord Torrence (University of Washington Press: $35; 272 pp., paperback original). A container of folded or sewn rawhide, the parfleche was used by Great Plains tribes from Western Canada to Southeastern Texas. Buffalo Bird Woman of the Hidatsa remembered that one, "might contain anything from an elk's tooth to a twenty-dollar gold piece." The examples in this catalogue of an exhibit at the Des Moines Art Center display bold patterns that anticipate the work of Max Bill, Frank Stella and the Color Field painters.

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