Ready to Dance
Allan Houser, 1988 (New Mexico, 1914-1994)
Bronze, edition of 6
“My work is about my people’s beauty, their dignity. About showing in my way, what I think of who I am, who they are, and making them proud. In my work, this is what I strive for, this dignity, this goodness that is in Man.”
This piece dates from Houser’s most prolific period as a sculptor, from the 1980s to the early 1990s, when he was finally able to devote himself to this craft full-time.
Experimentation with bronze sheet metal and corten steel allowed Houser to produce smooth, rounded forms with a seamless appearance.
The piece reflects Houser’s Apache heritage, and appears to depict an Apache woman preparing to participate in a social dance. Western Apache culture is matrilineal, tracing lines of descent through mothers rather than fathers. Houser has chosen to depict this figure with both elements of romance and whimsy as well as a deep respect.