“Couple” Series Painting by David Johns


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David Johns, Diné of the Navajo Nation Artist

This original painting was created by Diné of the Navajo Nation artist David Johns. It is part of what the artist called his "Couple" series, and it dates to 1999. The couple depicted here faces away from the viewer, with faces hidden by perspective. They are wrapped in a blanket, and they appear to be enjoying a dramatic sunrise or sunset.

Johns positioned his figures just left of center, crossing most of the painting's thirty vertical inches. They stare off toward an abstracted depiction of a setting or rising sun, which is represented by wide zigzagging lines in a series of complementary yellow tones. Additional patterns that appear within the blanket they wear reinforce the suggestion of a bright sun in motion. With this painting, Johns offers an inventive and elegant composition, a gorgeous color palette, and subject matter that will resonate with many viewers.

Artist signature of David Johns, Diné of the Navajo NationThe painting is signed David Johns in lower right. The canvas is gallery wrapped around a wood frame. Handwritten text on verso reads "Acrylic/Canvas, ‘Couple' Series, David Johns."

David Johns (1948- ) is a Diné of the Navajo Nation artist who was born in Winslow, Arizona. Johns received a bachelor's degree in fine arts from Northern Arizona University. Johns uses the lessons learned through formal education and the teachings of the traditional Diné way of life to create works in a number of unique and appealing styles. He has exhibited internationally and received many notable awards and accolades for his work. Johns is or was at one point the Vice President of the Hataałii Association, an organization of Diné Medicine Men and Women.

Condition: excellent condition

Provenance: this "Couple" Series Painting by David Johns is from a private Albuquerque collection, purchased from the artist in 1999

Recommended Reading: David Johns: On The Trail Of Beauty by Lois Jacka, Jerry Jacka, and N. Scott Momaday. Snailspace Publishing Inc., Scottsdale. 1991

TAGS: Diné of the Navajo NationNative American Paintings, David Johns

Close-up view of a section of this painting.

David Johns, Diné of the Navajo Nation Artist
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