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Allan Houser, Prayer

On view in the East Garden

sculpture garden 2020

Allan Houser
Chiricahua Apache
1914 Apache, Oklahoma – 1994 Santa Fe, New Mexico
bronze, ed. 1/8
Albuquerque Museum, museum purchase, 1997 General Obligation Bonds

Prayer depicts a figure looking up to the sky with his arms outstretched. The body is an abstract form but the hands, face, and headdress of the figure are naturalistically rendered. Houser’s sculpture is rooted in his Apache heritage while simultaneously addressing the contemporary world around him. The work is both specific to his culture and traditions but also universal in its message reflecting on the interconnected relationships between people, the land, and the spiritual world. Houser is one of the most celebrated and important artists from the United States and was a prolific painter, draughtsman, and sculptor. His sculptures often include both abstract forms and figural elements, many of them monumental in scale. He worked with a wide range of materials including stone, steel, bronze, and wood. Prayer is among the last major works created by Allan Houser before his death in August of 1994. This bronze version is based on a unique steel sculpture that stood at the entrance to his studio for nearly a decade.