Helen Hardin Original Painting titled “Mimbres Scorpion”

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Helen Hardin, Santa Clara Pueblo Painter

The painting dates to 1977, when it was entered in competition at the New Mexico State Fair. “Mimbres Scorpion” received the “First Premium” prize, and the blue ribbon and entry tags still hang from the back of the frame. "Mimbres Scorpion" is an original acrylic painting by Santa Clara Pueblo artist Helen Hardin. The painting dates to 1977, when it was entered in competition at the New Mexico State Fair. "Mimbres Scorpion" received the First Premium prize, and the blue ribbon and entry tags still hang from the back of the frame.

With this piece, Hardin stayed close to Native tradition by creating an interpretation of prehistoric Mimbres imagery. A Mimbres bowl in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art provides a prominent early example of this same scorpion design. The bowl is dated to A.D. 950-1150.

With "Mimbres Scorpion," Hardin offered a fine tribute to the artworks of her ancestors. The scorpion itself imitates earlier forms beautifully while also incorporating the artist's own stylistic preferences. The remarkable background accomplishes the same feat within its intricate web of razor-thin lines and atomized paint droplets. In an ambitious and inventive move, Hardin wove the creature and its habitat together by allowing the background pattern to merge with the scorpion's body. All of this remarkable work was completed using various shades of green, which further unifies each element into a cohesive and beautiful whole.

Artist signature and hallmark of Helen Hardin, Santa Clara Pueblo PainterThe painting is signed Tsa-Sah-Wee-Eh and dated 1977. It is in the original frame, which mounts a wood frame on a fabric backing within a larger frame. The title is written on the frame's paper backing, and the aforementioned blue ribbon and entry tags are attached to the wire.

Helen Hardin (1943-1984) Tsa-Sah-Wee-Eh or "Little Standing Spruce" was an innovative and influential painter from 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.


Condition: excellent condition

Provenance: this Helen Hardin Original Painting titled "Mimbres Scorpion" is from a private New Mexico collection

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

TAGS: Santa Clara PuebloPablita VelardeNative American PrintsNative American PaintingsHelen Hardin, Santa Clara Pueblo PainterSouthwest Indian Pottery

Close-up view of a section of this paining.

 

Helen Hardin, Santa Clara Pueblo Painter
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