Richard Elmer "Rick" Bartow (December 16, 1946 – April 2, 2016) was a Native American artist and a member of the Mad River Band of Wiyot Indians, a small tribe indigenous to Humboldt County, California. He primarily created pastel, graphite, and mixed media drawings, wood sculpture, acrylic paintings, drypoint etchings, monotypes, and a small number of ceramic works.
In April 2015 the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon opened "Things You Know but Cannot Explain", a major retrospective exhibition of Rick Bartow's works in many media, spanning 35 years of his career as an artist. Venues for its 2015–2019 run are the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma, North Dakota Museum Of Art In Grand Forks, North Dakota; IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico; the Heard Museum, Phoenix, Arizona; Washington State University in Pullman, Washington; The Boise Art Museum, Boise, Idaho; the Schingoethe Center of Aurora University Aurora, Illinois; the Autry Museum of the American West in Los Angeles, California; the High Desert Museum in Bend, Oregon; and the C. N. Gorman Museum at UC Davis, Davis, California.
As influences, Bartow cited Marc Chagall, Francis Bacon, Odilon Redon and Horst Janssen, in addition to his Native American heritage and his work with the Māori. These artists also worked expressionistically with human and animal forms.
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