Bobby Hicks Original Painting of Diné Nightway Ceremony [SOLD]

C4524B-paint.jpg

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Bobby Hicks, Diné Artist
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Diné of the Navajo Nation
  • Medium: acrylic on canvas
  • Size:
    29-¾” x 46-½” image;
    31-⅛” x 48” framed
  • Item # C4524B
  • SOLD

This large original painting was created by deceased Diné artist Bobby Hicks.  We reached out to a Diné friend for information about what exactly is occurring in this scene.  He said, “The painting represents the final dance of last night of the Nightway ceremony. The Bluebird dancers conclude the ceremony, towards the morning of the final, ninth night. When the dancers sing the last song, spectators make a line to the eastern end of the dance ground, between the ceremonial hogan and the green room made of juniper trees. There the dancers make their exit, still singing, people would bless each dancer with sacred cornmeal and corn pollen. Once in the green room, each participating dancer takes off their mask, and in a low harmonic voice, sings the early morning Blessingsway song, thus concluding the Nightway ceremony.”

Hicks’ Nightway ceremony is bold, bright, and beautiful.  At nearly four feet in width, it’s a large piece, and Hicks managed to adeptly cover every inch of the image with activity.  In the foreground, we have a close-up view of the ceremony, with figures captured in an attractive, detailed style. In the background, pairs of spectators watch from covered wagons.  These distant figures are made of simple sketches in black and blue, a decision that suits the image’s mood perfectly.  This vibrant, energetic painting presents a modern vision of a significant Diné ceremony.

Signature of Bobby Hicks, Diné ArtistThe painting is signed Bobby Hicks in lower right.  It is dated below the signature, but the date is difficult to decipher.  We believe it reads 98.  The canvas is mounted within a lightweight black frame. 

Bobby Hicks (1934-2014) was a Diné painter.  He attended the University of Northern Arizona, and the University of Arizona, under the Southwest Indian Art Project.  To quote Dorothy Dunn “Bobby Hicks is essentially an abstractionist, although he seldom follows the conventions and figures of the tribal sandpaintings. His own interpretations of various life forms and his experiments with unusual color and mannerisms are intriguing and often admirable.”  Clara Lee Tanner said: “He received honorable mention at the Philbrook in 1958; in 1969 he entered several graphics in the Scottsdale National.  [H]is style may be fully realistic, or more schematized or impressionistic.  He has used both flat color and modeling in color. Hicks seems to have been constantly experimenting with his painting.”


Condition: excellent condition

Provenance: this Bobby Hicks Original Painting of Diné Nightway Ceremony is from the collection of a family from Albuquerque

References: 

Dunn, Dorothy. American Indian Painting of the Southwest and Plains Areas

Tanner, Clara Lee. Southwest Indian Painting, a Changing Art

Relative Links: Native American PaintingsNavajo NationBobby Hicks, Diné Artist

Close up view of a section of this painting.

Bobby Hicks, Diné Artist
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Diné of the Navajo Nation
  • Medium: acrylic on canvas
  • Size:
    29-¾” x 46-½” image;
    31-⅛” x 48” framed
  • Item # C4524B
  • SOLD

C4524B-paint.jpgC4524B-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.