Oil on canvas by Harry Whitehorse

Indigenous Wisconsin
Overture exhibit by Ho-Chunk artists tells many stories


NOVEMBER 14, 2019
At a glance, the painting looks like many found hanging innocuously over sofas in living rooms throughout the Midwest. A pair of whitetail deer — a buck and doe — are captured in a wintery landscape framed by limestone escarpments that could represent Wisconsin’s Driftless Region, the scene’s long shadows indicating either the start or end of the animals’ day.

Look more closely at “Untitled,” a 1985 oil-on-canvas work by the late Harry Whitehorse, and you will see how the artist’s use of pointillism, the impressionist technique of painting with distinct color dots, brings the sun-soaked image to life. Viewers might become transfixed by the buck’s stare, which reads as if unwanted visitors have interrupted his respite.
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