Earl Biss was a catalyst during the golden era when a group of young Native artists came through the Institute of American Indian Art and transformed Native art from primitive, stylized forms to fine art. This miracle generation contributed to the explosion of Contemporary Southwest Art that began in the 1960s. Considered the lead Native American painter of this movement by many critics, Biss was recognized by one Southwest art critic and collector as the greatest colorist of the 20th Century.
Influenced by European masters, yet forging an evolving style all his own, Biss drew upon his rich heritage of the Crow Indians – the Apsáalooke – as a primary force shaping his art. At the heart of his work was always his love of the Apsáalooke, which shone through his art like a beacon of light bursting through a storm.
In his own words, Earl Biss reveals his joyous, dynamic, tumultuous journey to success in the art world. Stories from members of the Crow Nation and from art patrons provide further understanding of the art and life of this mystical, controversial artist.
2020 International Award-Winning Finalist in the Art category of the Best Book Awards sponsored by American Book Fest.
2019 National Award-Winning Finalist in the Art category of the Best Book Awards sponsored by American Book Fest.
2020 International Award-Winning Finalist in the Biography category of the Best Book Awards sponsored by American Book Fest.
2019 National Award-Winning Finalist in the Biography category of the Best Book Awards sponsored by American Book Fest.
One of the most powerful books I've ever read. Lisa is superb, and Earl Biss WAS a genius! ~ Cheryl Westphal, Gallery Manager, Aspen Grove Fine Arts
As a close friend and apprentice of Earl Biss for 20 + years, I dove right into this book and appreciated the love, care and reverence Lisa portrayed throughout for a true and flawed genius. ~ Louisa Davidson, Artist
So beautifully written, I was in tears most the time. ~ Gail Scilacci-Abbo, Art Collector
Your extensive interviews and gifted storytelling make this biography an enduring treasure. People who, like me, had never heard of Earl Biss before you brought him to my attention, will become familiar with his life and work for generations. Your book will endure because of your devotion to telling this story. ~ Michael Phillips Mann, Editor
You captured Earl Biss perfectly! How did you do that? ~ Victor Abbo, Attorney, Art Collector, Long-time Friend of Earl
I am LOVING the book. The way you chose to tell the story first-person is very compelling. I can imagine the tremendous responsibility you felt taking on this subject and you've done it justice. The photo of T.C., Cannon, Fritz Scholder and Earl Biss is incredible. When I saw my first painting by Earl Biss, I could instantly recognize something "extra" was taking place both on the canvas and within me. The book is helping me clarify what that was. ~ Chadd Scott, Arts & Travel Writer
This is very much mixing the spiritual with the material. I’m coming up with something on a two-dimensional plane. It’s a very spiritual world. The way I paint, the way I live, is all very spiritual. You know, I can’t help it that I’m confined to this body. And I can’t help it that I’m limited in my means of communication. I try to be as literal as possible. I try to become familiar with as many types of verbology as possible because I feel that what I have to say is very important.
~ Earl Biss
Earl Biss (1947-1998), photo by Louisa Davidson
Lisa Gerstner has a keen interest in how spiritual forces shape and influence cultures, the arts, and individuals in daily life. She has found that just beyond the known, beyond the emotions and the mind – within the core of Soul – is where the creative current resides. This fascination with the spiritual pulse naturally embedded within the creative impulse is what drew her to the dynamic and mystical Crow artist, Earl Biss.
Equipped with a Master of Science in Education Media Design and Technology from Full Sail University Online, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a Concentration in Painting from Kansas State University, Lisa applies these creative interests in writing, music composition, film production, painting, and art education. Film work includes co-producing and film scoring Girls on Purpose and co-producing Openings: The Search for Harry. Lisa is producer/director for the forthcoming Earl Biss Documentary. She lives in Louisville, Colorado.