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Old Man (Arapaho)

by Brent Learned

Dimensions: 30 x 24
Gift of Ken and Mary Ann Fergeson, John and Juanita Learned, and the artist, 2012

Old Man (Arapaho) by Brent Learned

The Artwork

Through the use of bold colors, Brent Learned paints an Arapaho elder in an expressionistic style. The artist has used highlights and shadows to represent the figure's form. However, rather than depict the figure in traditional colors, he uses a vivid and powerful palette which employs complementary color relationships. The orange color of man's garments are contrasted with the vibrant blue which outlines his jacket and face. The large field of red which comprises much of the background draws attention to the green of the feather and scarf which directs our attention to the man's face. This use of color results in a work that is both representative and expressive.

The Artist

Born and raised in Oklahoma City, Brent Learned is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne-Arapaho tribe as well as an award-winning and collected artist. Learned graduated from the University of Kansas with a Bachelor of Fine Arts.

Learned tries to create artwork that captures the essence, accuracy, and historic authenticity of the American Plains Indian way of life. Although he works in many different styles, Learned is typically known for his use of bold vibrant color.

His work resides in museums such as the Smithsonian Institute-National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., the Cheyenne/Arapaho Museum in Clinton, Oklahoma, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, and the University of Kansas Art Museum in Lawrence. He has work in private collections such as the Haskell Indian University in Lawrence, Kansas, and the Kerr Foundation Private Collection in Oklahoma City. Learned also has the honor of having one of his paintings displayed in the Democratic National Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Learned has also had the honor of working with renowned glassblowing artist Dale Chihuly's team on the Eleanor Blake Kirkpatrick Tower (Chihuly's tallest installation to date) that resides in the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.

Commissioned artwork has been a growing part of Learned's career. He was commissioned to paint the art for the poster in the Native American Heritage Celebration in Oklahoma City in November 2005. He was commissioned by the Association of American Indian Physicians in 2004 for their annual meeting poster. Red Earth in Oklahoma City has commissioned Learned twice for his artwork.

Newspapers such as
The Oklahoman, Santa Fe Reporter, Indianapolis Hoosier, Anadarko News, and the Lawrence Journal World have written articles about his work. His work has also been featured in magazines such as the Native People Magazine, Kansas University Alumni Magazine, and Persimmon Hill Magazine.