Helen Hardin Aquatint Etching “Deerslayer’s Dream” [SOLD]


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Helen Hardin, Santa Clara Pueblo Painter
  • Category: Original Prints
  • Origin: Santa Clara Pueblo, Kha'p'oo Owinge
  • Medium: aquatint etching on Stonehenge Cream paper
  • Size:
    19” x 26-⅞” image;
    26” x 33-½” framed
  • Item # C4527
  • SOLD

Photo of Helen Hardin (1943-1984) Tsa-Sah-Wee-Eh - Little Standing Spruce. Image Source:  the photo copies (of original polaroid’s) of Helen Hardin appear courtesy of the photographer.“Deerslayer's Dream” is a 1981 aquatint etching by influential Santa Clara Pueblo artist Helen Hardin.  Red, ochre, and brown were used for this three-plate etching.  These three tones combine beautifully, resulting in an image with an appealing warm glow.  The unique textural variations of the aquatint medium are well-suited to this color scheme.  They elevate the vaporous qualities of the image, which seems appropriate for a depiction of a dream.

Hardin’s composition places the titular deer slayers toward the left side of the image.  Each holds a bow and arrows, facing inward toward a large group of deer in various sizes.  Each figure, including the human, bears the life-affirming heartline design that appears often in Pueblo artworks.  Behind the bolder brown figures in the foreground, wispy figural repetitions appear, echoing off into the distance of Hardin’s deeply compelling dream world.  Further into the background, a strong series of jagged lines intersects with a large circle, forming an appropriately dreamlike desert landscape with a setting sun.  With its incredible depth and complexity, “Deerslayer's Dream” is one of Helen Hardin’s finest etchings.

Artist Signature of Helen Hardin, Santa Clara Pueblo Artist“Deerslayer's Dream” was completed in 1981 at El Cerro Graphics in Los Lunas, New Mexico.  It was hand printed by William Boyson and Ricardo Ximenes.  It was issued in an edition of 65, plus additional artist proofs, printer’s proofs, and shop impressions.  The etching is numbered 23/65 in lower left and signed Tsa-Sah-Wee-Eh in lower right.  El Cerro’s chop mark appears in lower left.  The original print documentation is affixed to the back of the frame.

Helen Hardin (1943-1984) Tsa-Sah-Wee-Eh or “Little Standing Spruce” was an innovative and influential painter from New Mexico’s Santa Clara Pueblo.  Hardin was born in 1943 to Santa Clara Pueblo painter Pablita Velarde and Caucasian civil servant Herbert Hardin. Inspired by her mother, she began creating and selling paintings as a teenager.  She went in a different direction than her mother and her mother’s peers, creating more contemporary works that depict Native American symbology with striking geometrical patterns and abstract imagery. She died of cancer in 1984, leaving behind an astounding body of work for her many admirers to enjoy.

Helen Hardin image source:  the photo copies (of original polaroid’s) of Helen Hardin appear courtesy of the photographer.

Condition: excellent condition

Provenance: this Helen Hardin Aquatint Etching "Deerslayer's Dream" is from a private West Coast collection

Recommended Reading: Changing Woman: The Life and Art of Helen Hardin by Jay Scott

Relative Links: Santa Clara PuebloPablita VelardeNative American PrintsNative American Paintings, Helen Hardin

Close up view of a section of this etching.