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In the mid-1980s, self-taught artist James Lavadour determined to focus his attention on the landscape where he has spent most of his life: the Umatilla Indian Reservation outside Pendleton, Oregon. He learned the terrain by walking it, in an effort to internalize the structure that knits together the landforms of the Blue Mountains. In the paintings that resulted, Lavadour has distilled particulars of the land to a critical essence, creating a symbolic vocabulary of clouds, hills, rocks, and chasms. These works are both beautiful and haunting, alluding to the history, both geologic and human, that these sites contain.

Lavadour has received numerous honors, including the Agnes Martin award and, recently, the Governor's Art Award. He is also the founder of Crow's Shadow Institute, whose mission is to provide educational and social opportunities to Native Americans through artistic development.

Collection History Provenance

Museum Purchase: Robert Hale Ellis Jr. Fund for the Blanche Eloise Day Ellis and Robert Hale Ellis Memorial Collection.

Item History

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