Randy Lee White depicts images of Native American people with abstractions of decorative pictographs expressing narratives about hunting, war, domestic life, and death. Mythical creatures suggest spirits of old, as do Indian symbolic objects and fetishes. White is an expert on many subjects, related to his heritage as a South Dakota Sioux and his affinity for pictographs. Although White (who was born Whitehorse, but dropped the “horse” as many Native Americans of his generation did) uses a variety of media in his art, the constant ingredient is the use of pictographs to relate history and to enlighten the viewer. Collections including White’s work are at The Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C., and the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois.
White’s goals and aspirations for his art are ambitious. He wants to educate, enlighten, entertain, and keep the art form of pictographs alive for future generations: “I want my art to be a bridge builder, gap filler between discontent and understanding, between assumption and real knowledge, between pictograph and abstract, between a dying art form and a living breathing art form.”
Harvey Rand, “Notes and Conversation: Randy Lee
White,” Arts Magazine 59 (September 1984): 116-21.