Adobe Gallery
221 Canyon Road
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
Phone (505) 955-0550
Fax (866) 919-9506
www.adobegallery.com
info@adobegallery.com


Keyword Search

Item ID Search

Advanced Criterion Search

Please select any combination of fields and information to narrow your search.

Close Window
Advanced Search

Membership has benefits! Join My Adobe Gallery now for FREE!

Already a Member?
LOGIN NOW

Join Now!



Original Painting of 8-Figure Yeibichai Ceremony

C4158E-paint.jpg

+ Add to my watchlist Forward to Friend


Harrison Begay (1917-2012) Haashké yah Níyá - The Wandering Boy
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Diné - Navajo Nation
  • Medium: watercolor
  • Size:
    31” x 19” image;
    40” x 28” framed
  • Item # C4158E
  • Price: $4,650.00

Clara Lee Tanner’s Southwest Indian Painting: A Changing Art provides a concise description of the beginnings of Diné (Navajo) two-dimensional art: “Navajo Painting has a longer recorded history than that of any other Southwest group.  The cave murals of the 1830-1840 decade . . . which promised much in the way of new subject matter and treatment, stand as a prologue to the development of this painting. Horses and men, done in several colors, reflect a realism and virility not before expressed in the Southwest...Choch followed (pre-1889), painting realistic portrayals of trains and other objects.  Then, at the turn of the century, with his strangely vivacious yei. Additional Navajo artists appeared during the period from 1930 to 1940, and new ones have consistently emerged through the years thereafter.”

Further into her influential text, she provides an excellent summation of what Diné painting evolved into: “Navajo painting can be characterized by action, modeling, more or less bright colors, genre subjects with emphasis on horses and riders, ceremonial dancers and dynamism.”  Harrison Begay (1917-2012) was, by all accounts, the quintessential Diné traditionalist painter. Begay received his initial arts education at the Santa Fe Indian School, where he studied under Dorothy Dunn. He later attended colleges in North Carolina and Arizona before serving in the US Army Signal Corps. After his discharge, he returned to the Navajo reservation and focused on his art.  He was prolific, productive and beloved during his long career, and remains highly regarded today by collectors who appreciate fine traditional Diné images.

Artist Signature - Harrison Begay (1917-2012) Haashké Ya Níyá-The Wandering BoyThis untitled painting by Harrison Begay will delight collectors who appreciate unique and unusual images by this prolific creator.  With this superb image, Begay presents a ceremonial subject, rather than a scene of daily life. Eight Yei-bi-chai dancers—human representations of Diné spirit beings—descend down a hill, towards the viewer.  Each Yei-bi-chai is presented in remarkable detail, as is expected of Begay. What’s most atypical here is the strong sense of action and movement that the image conveys. Begay’s more common subjects—serene scenes of daily life—succeed because of their peaceful, easygoing charm.  This image, with its large scale and rousing ceremonial imagery, is truly exciting.

Artist Signature - Harrison Begay (1917-2012) Haashké Ya Níyá-The Wandering BoyBegay’s Yei-bi-chai dancers are as strong here as they are in any of his most notable published works.  Each one is different, with unique details assigned to garments, masks and jewelry. Their colors are vivid and bright, perhaps exaggerated a bit from those actually seen during these ceremonies.  Begay and his contemporaries were known to use artistic license with their subjects’ coloring. He, in particular, succeeds with his use of soft pastel pinks and purples, adding warmth to the dry, earthy tones of the Southwest.  Begay was adept at making accessible images, even when featuring subjects that were distinctly Diné or very specific in some other way. This ability, along with the remarkable technical skill that is often mentioned alongside his name, is what makes this painting truly amazing.

This painting dates to the 1970s or early 1980s. It is signed “Haskay Yahne Yah” in lower left, and “Harrison Begay” in lower right.



Condition: this Original Painting of 8-Figure Yeibichai Ceremony is in very good condition with a minor stain in lower left

Provenance: from the large collection of a New Mexico resident who purchased it in the 1970s while living in Gallup, NM

Relative Links: Diné - NavajoHarrison BegayDorothy DunnNative American Paintings

Close up view of one of the Yei dancers.

Harrison Begay (1917-2012) Haashké yah Níyá - The Wandering Boy
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Diné - Navajo Nation
  • Medium: watercolor
  • Size:
    31” x 19” image;
    40” x 28” framed
  • Item # C4158E
  • Price: $4,650.00

C4158E-paint.jpgC4158E-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.