From the New York Times:
R.C. Gorman, Painter of Strong Navajo Women, Dies
By Margalit Fox
R. C. Gorman, an internationally prominent Navajo artist whose portraits of voluptuous women in flowing traditional dress embodied the American Southwest for collectors around the world, died on Thursday [Nov. 3] at a hospital in Albuquerque. A longtime resident of Taos, N.M., he was believed to be in his mid-70's ...
Mr. Gorman was best known for his paintings, sculptures and lithographs depicting American Indian women - typically corpulent, barefoot and wrapped in shawls or blankets. From the mid-1970's on, his work graced the walls of galleries and corporate offices around the country and was disseminated even more widely on posters, notecards and calendars.
While some critics dismissed Mr. Gorman as a commercial artist who prized quantity over quality, others praised his flowing line; his warm, saturated colors; and the strength, spirituality and universality of his subjects. In 1973, his work was featured in the exhibition "Masterworks From the Museum of the American Indian" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Born into modest circumstances on a Navajo reservation in Arizona, Mr. Gorman lived his later years in self-styled bohemian splendor. His sartorial taste ran to headbands and custom-tailored Hawaiian shirts; his personal art collection, it was widely reported, ran to Matisse, Monet and Chagall ...After moving to Taos in the 1960's, Mr. Gorman opened the Navajo Gallery there. By the mid-1970's, he had refined the subject matter that would make him world famous.
"I don't draw the 'ideal' woman who would fit in Playboy bunny underwear," he told the Austin newspaper. "Most women aren't like that. I draw beautiful women who are sometimes fat and have calluses on their feet" ... [read on ...]
- The Taos News' more extensive web obituary with a few links and reader feedback.