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Navajo Artist R.C. Gorman Dies

Famed Native-American artist R.C. Gorman, whom the New York Times newspaper called the "Picasso of American art," has died. A look at his life and his work.

Rudolph Carl -- R.C. – Gorman, a Native-American of the Navajo tribe, was born on a reservation in Arizona. In the 1950s he went to Mexico where his work was influenced by famed artists Diego Rivera, Rufino Tamayo and others. Much of Mr. Gorman's art portrays Navajo women in southwest American landscapes. It is internationally renowned and highly sought after. He acknowledged that in an interview several years ago.

"Fabulous people come here, we don't have to go to them," he said.

Gallery worker Soroush Angel spoke with him shortly before he died.

"I said, ‘R.C. you have to take care of yourself; people ask me all the time, ‘how is his health?’ He said, 'Honey, life is fun.' "

Mr. Gorman lived in New Mexico, and it was that state's governor, Bill Richardson, who announced his death. "New Mexico loses a great citizen and the world loses a great artist."

On his gallery's web site, his agent, Virginia Dooley, said Mr. Gorman had lost his month-long battle with a serious blood infection, pneumonia, and other health problems.