The Art of Rance Hood

Rance Hood is one of the few Native American artists left who still paints in the manner which echoes the traditional Indian culture and spirituality of the past that has been drastically changed by the modern and white worlds.

Hood grew up in the home of his maternal grandparents who taught him Comanche Indian ways and values. Hood has introduced some abstract motifs into his backgrounds, but he adheres mainly to the traditional style of art practiced by his ancestors. Today, forty years beyond his original success as a major Indian artist in the 1960’s, Rance Hood is still considered the most successful Plains Indian artist to date.

Hood’s paintings are presented in a mystical landscape that is not of this world but a world distinguished by heroic deeds and ancestral spirits. His paintings feature warriors on horseback galloping so energetically that their hooves never touch the ground. His art flows with the expression of energy, magic, life, and authentic freedom.

Strong composition, use of line, and the explosive use of color are all characteristic of Indian art. Hood’s themes are mystical and spiritual, developing his work through the customs and religious practices which were passed down to him. The paintings of Rance Hood are viewed as an extension of the theatrical adaptation of original Plains painting. Life and energy has been added and color intensified, but the unforgettable recollection of an idealized Indian world remains.