Abstract Painting

Beast Series, ca. 1963

Artist George Burdeau
(Piikani, 1944 - present)
Medium Watercolor on paper
Dimensions 36”x 24.25”


Best known as a filmmaker today, George Burdeau’s paintings were exhibited in galleries across the US and Europe, including the White House Art Exhibit during the 1960s. In 1961, he participated in the Southwestern Indian Art Project, a national program designed to educate Native youths in contemporary art, which resulted in the establishment of the Institute of American Indian arts. Burdeau was one of the first students to attend IAIA in 1962 but left the next year when he was diagnosed with cancer, which he defeated against great odds. His three watercolor and ink drawings Beast Series depict abstract figures in gestural brushstrokes and wash. The figures’ expressive, vigorous brushwork is characterized by an energy similar to Adolph Gottlieb’s black “bursts” from the early 1960s.