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Treescape / Woody Big Bow, January 29, 1915 - July 10, 1988, Native American; Kiowa (Artist)


Kiowa (Cáuigù)1 artist Woody Big Bow painted primarily in Flatstyle—recognized by its lack of figural shading, and backgrounds that have a shallow or indistinguishable depth of field—often combined with elements of realism. In Treescape, however, he explores a more impressionistic landscape. Almost certainly painted out-of-doors, the work depicts a small stand of birch trees in autumn. The artist’s feathered, painterly brushstrokes and rich palette of greens, oranges, and muted blue tones capture, in a moment, the vitality of American woodlands amid seasonal change.

A pupil of the Swedish professor, artist, and curator Oscar Jacobson during the 1930s, Big Bow began formal studio art training at the University of Oklahoma, following in the footsteps of Kiowa artists Stephen Mopope, Jack Hokeah, James Auchiah, Spencer Asah, Monroe Tsatoke, and Lois Smokey.

—Jordan Poorman Cocker, Henry Luce Foundation Curatorial Scholar for Indigenous Painting Collection Research, 2021

1 Cáuigù is the correct identity used by the Kiowa Tribe.

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Woody Big Bow, January 29, 1915 - July 10, 1988, Native American; Kiowa (Artist)
Native American; Kiowa
mid-20th century
oil on paper
Object Type: 
Credit Line: 
Gift of Raymond and Miriam Freedman
Accession No: 
Previous Number(s): 
TL1996.34; 0127.2488; TL1996.34; 37301
Not On View

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