From the Rim
Frank McCarthy’s “From the Rim” is set against a giant shelf of rimrock and under threatening skies. A Sioux warrior rides out beyond his waiting and impatient war party. Shading his eyes and scanning the horizon, he is looking perhaps for a mirror flash or a scout’s signal with blanket or robe to indicate in which direction the warriors should ride. It was the habit of the Sioux, when no enemy came to them within a respectable interval, to ride forth and seek out a worthy adversary. The Sioux often chose the Pawnee on whom to bestow these periodic blessings, giving their young men a chance to satisfy their need to display their valor in battle.
McCarthy’s work was always imbued with a high sense of drama. Each painting nearly leaps off the canvas. He builds this sense of tension in every painting, even when the horses and figures are still. “From the Rim” is a perfect example of this McCarthy trademark style. Here, the action is provided in the dramatic and foreboding design of the landscape surrounding this seemingly motionless Sioux scout.
McCarthy considered this piece one of his favorite paintings because of the intensity and variation of the landscape with which he built the central figure.