Untitled Navajo Painting of Young Diné Boy and Dog by Beatien Yazz

C4303E-paint.jpg

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Beatien Yazz, Navajo Nation Painter
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Diné of the Navajo Nation
  • Medium: watercolor
  • Size:
    16-5/8” x 12-7/8” image;
    24-1/4" x 20-1/4” framed
  • Item # C4303E
  • Price: $995.00

This Navajo watercolor painting by Beatien Yazz is as sweet and endearing as anything we’ve seen by the prolific Diné artist. We’ve studied hundreds of Native paintings completed in the traditional style, and have noticed that many artists choose to make their human subjects’ faces somewhat nondescript.  This may have been deliberate—perhaps the artists wanted to keep the viewer focused on the (often ceremonial) action, or perhaps those who lacked technical training did not have the confidence to explore wider ranges of facial expressions. Whatever the case may be, simple faces suit the style well.  However, it’s always a treat to see works from painters who developed a more personalized style. One such artist is Beatien Yazz.

Human subjects by Beatien Yazz are always wonderful.  Their faces are stoic in expression but dramatic in composition.  Their eyes are dark with wide eyebrows, their foreheads and cheeks are a bit more round and pronounced than one might expect.  Here, it’s a boy and his dog, running together through the Navajo Nation. A single plant surrounded by pebbles is the only hint at their surroundings.  Two small birds circle the sky near the painting’s upper edge. This is another excellent offering from Beatien Yazz.

Artist Signature - Beatien Yazz (1928-2012) Little No Shirt - Jimmy ToddyThe painting is signed “B. Yazz” in lower right.  It is framed in a thin frame under two layers of matting in complementary colors.

Beatien Yazz (1928-2012) Little No Shirt (Jimmy Toddy) was a painter who was born in 1928 on the Navajo Reservation.  At an early age, Yazz met Bill and Sallie Lippencott, traders at the Wide Ruins Trading Post. They recognized Yazz’s talent and made available to him scraps of paper and other equipment so that he might practice his artwork.  Alberta Hannum’s book Spin a Silver Dollar tells the story of the Lippencotts and the young Navajo boy they encouraged.  The book was illustrated by the boy himself—Beatien Yazz. He served in the U.S. Marines in World War II and was a member of the famed Navajo Code Talkers. Following the war, he returned to the reservation and began to paint in earnest. He specialized in subjects familiar to him in his daily life on the reservation. He has been eminently popular with collectors since the 1950s.


Condition: this Untitled Navajo Painting of Young Diné Boy and Dog by Beatien Yazz is in excellent condition

Provenance: private New Mexico collection

Recommended Reading: Southwest Indian Painting: A Changing Art by Clara Lee Tanner

Relative Links: Beatien YazzFine Art - Native American PaintingsNavajo Nation

Close up view of the boy's face.

Beatien Yazz, Navajo Nation Painter
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Diné of the Navajo Nation
  • Medium: watercolor
  • Size:
    16-5/8” x 12-7/8” image;
    24-1/4" x 20-1/4” framed
  • Item # C4303E
  • Price: $995.00

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