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Fantasies

On view

Fantasies

Artist: Walter Ufer (American, 1876 - 1936)

Date: 1922
Medium: oil on canvas
Dimensions:
42 x 38 inches (106.7 x 96.5 cm)
Frame: 51 × 47 3/8 × 3 3/8 inches (129.5 × 120.3 × 8.6 cm)
Classification: Paintings
Signed: W Ufer (lower left)
Credit Line: Purchase of the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation, 2003
Object number: 31.5.9
Accession Number: 2003.2.1
Label Text:In Fantasies, Ufer paints his self-portrait as an artist at work. He did not like visitors in his studio and reportedly posted a sign, “Danger . . . Explosives . . . Do Not Enter.” Yet in this portrayal of fantasies, he invites the viewer in. He depicts himself in his typical riding breeches, leather leggings, and a doughboy hat suggestive of military attire. His clothing indicates an outdoor setting, but he places himself, the artist, indoors in his studio with his wife as a muse. The most puzzling element is the apparition of an Indian figure. Does Ufer intend the ghostly form to be a sign of the artist’s creative power? Does the figure represent the idea of the vanishing American Indian? Ufer challenges the viewer to interpret his work.
Provenance: (J.N.Bartfield Gallery , New York, New York); purchased by Robert McKee, Texas (owned it approximately 10 years); purchased (Zaplin/Lampert Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico); purchased April 30, 2003 by Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation; accessioned to the Stark Museum of Art
Exhibitions:
  • Branding the American West: Paintings and Films 1900-1950