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Original Painting Entitled “The Healing”


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Tony Abeyta (1965- ) Navajo Nation

This charcoal and ink wash was executed on paper which was then mounted on canvas. It is one of four such paintings by Tony Abeyta based on dreams he had in the late 1980s. Unfortunately, three of the paintings were destroyed in a fire and this is the only survivor. It was executed in 1987-1989.

Tony Abeyta  | Diné | Navajo | Fine Art | Native American Paintings | Native American Artwork | signature

The scene depicts a healing ceremony.  The female in center is having her hair ceremonially washed.  The fire to her right is a purification symbol.  The young boy in the far left carries a medicine bag in one hand and has an Owl, a very powerful symbol to the Diné, on his outstretched arm.  He seems to be wearing a crown.  He is either standing behind or in another fire.  The Lion in the far right is a healing figure. The young girl above the head of the lion is blowing a shell trumpet.  There is a small boat in the background about center of the painting.  In the front, right corner,  is a chamissa plant.  The male and female in the foreground represent participants in the ceremony. The overall painting is very mysterious and was based on a dream Abeyta had at the time. He recently stated that he has difficulty now describing what he felt at the time that he painted this scene.

The painting was executed on paper in charcoal and ink wash.  It was then mounted on canvas and stretched to a wood frame.  It has not been framed.  Before it was attached to the canvas, a few small sections of paper received minor damage and it has been decided, in consultation with the artist, that it is best left as it is because the tears are basically not visible and the paper is fixed to canvas so no further tears can occur.  It has been signed by the artist on the front and back.  He also titled and dated the painting on the back.


Provenance: from a family collection in Taos, New Mexico

Recommended Reading: 100 Artists of the Southwest by Douglas Bullis (This hardback book is an excellent resource for reading about and seeing art by 100 Southwest artists—both Indian and non-Indian. Tony Abeyta is included.  There is one copy available at the gallery and this complimentary copy will be included with this painting.



Tony Abeyta (1965- ) Navajo Nation
C3350-abeyta.jpgC3350-large2.jpg Click on image to view larger.