Original Navajo Painting of Horses in a Storm by Beatien Yazz

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Beatien Yazz, Navajo Nation Painter
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Diné - Navajo Nation
  • Medium: watercolor
  • Size:
    16" x 20-7/8" image;
    24-1/8” x 29” framed
  • Item # C4240A
  • Price: $2,000.00

Diné painter Beatien Yazz was great at using strong colors to intensify his images, and this Navajo painting of a group of horses is a fine example of that skill.  With this piece, the artist’s chosen colors are few but powerful. The dark blue paper onto which the image is painted sets the scene nicely. White, gray, brown and purple paints create the artist’s primary subjects—a half-dozen horses.  This limited-but-effective color palette successfully establishes a mood that we do not often see in Native paintings. The viewer is standing in the middle of a growing storm. The sky has darkened, and the animals have become aware of a threat.

Yazz’s six horses—pictured in various positions and at various distances from the viewer—are of the artist’s typically fine quality.  In the foreground, a white horse with brown spots is bucking, startled by the storm. Most of the other horses turn their heads towards the bucking horse.  Even those that are positioned far in the distance are detailed, realistically proportioned and carefully shaded. Wide, dramatic streaks of purple, gray and white create the storm around the horses. Yazz made this potentially upsetting scene into something eerily beautiful.

Artist Signature - Beatien Yazz, Little No Shirt - Jimmy Toddy, Diné ArtistThe painting is signed B. Yazz ‘84 in lower right. It is framed in a simple black frame with a gray mat which complements the image.

Clara Lee Tanner’s Southwest Indian Painting: A Changing Art comments on Yazz’s style: “Originality characterizes much of Beatien Yazz’s painting.  Also, his colors frequently are strong and contrasting—they are seldom muted, and rich combinations of colors are typical.  With little effort he attains a feeling of action, sometimes as dramatic but not quite as brutal as that of (Quincy) Tahoma.”

Beatien Yazz (1928-2012) Little No Shirt was a painter who was born 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 told 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 very popular with collectors since the 1950s.

 

Condition: this Original Navajo Painting of Horses in a Storm by Beatien Yazz is in excellent condition

Provenance: private collection

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

Relative Links: Navajo ReservationSpin a Silver DollarPaint the WindpaintingsYazz: Navajo PainterBeatien Yazz

Beatien Yazz, Navajo Nation Painter
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Diné - Navajo Nation
  • Medium: watercolor
  • Size:
    16" x 20-7/8" image;
    24-1/8” x 29” framed
  • Item # C4240A
  • Price: $2,000.00

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