Original Navajo Painting titled “Harvest Dancers” by David Chethlahe Paladin [SOLD]

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David Chethlahe Paladin, Navajo Painter
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Diné - Navajo Nation
  • Medium: acrylic on canvas
  • Size:
    18-3/4” x 15” image;
    20-1/4” x 16-1/4” framed
  • Item # C4155A
  • SOLD

David Paladin’s work evolved drastically over the course of his career, moving away from what was common among Native American artists of his time towards more abstract contemporary work.  Though his methods changed over time, his preferred themes remained the same: spirituality, creation, and rebirth. Paladin depicted the same rituals, ceremonies and symbols as many of his Diné contemporaries, but did so from a unique, constantly evolving perspective.

David Chethlahe Paladin (1926-1984) was a student of the Santa Fe Indian School, where he learned the basic fundamentals of painting from Dorothy Dunn.  Dunn encouraged her students to document and celebrate their cultures. As a young man, Paladin struggled with his identity as the mixed-race son of a Navajo woman and a visiting white missionary.  As he developed as an artist, he began to display a genuine affection for his Navajo culture. His style evolved considerably over the years, and ultimately drew from a wide variety of influences while always remaining grounded in his Native American roots. Paladin—a recovering addict and World War II P.O.W. camp survivor—was eventually trained as a shaman, using his extraordinary life experiences to serve the Huichol and Tarahumara tribes in Mexico as well as his native Diné people.

“Harvest Dancers” is an exciting image from this fascinating artist.  Paladin’s warm, bright colors complement one another beautifully when used side-by-side.  They combine with and augment one another well in certain areas where they’re used in layers.  The image is composed of thoughtfully arranged geometric shapes in various shades of pink and purple.  White, red and gold are used, too, though not as heavily as the pinks and purples. The orange background was a strong choice that serves the image quite well.  The titular Harvest Dancers are excellent. Each dancer is a completed puzzle, made of pieces in various colors that fit together perfectly to create a coherent whole.  It’s a very crafty composition created with an unusual color palette that will appeal to those with a taste for atypical interpretations of traditional Native images.

David Chethlahe Paladin (1926-1984) signatureThe canvas is framed in a simple gold frame.  “Harvest Dancers (Pueblo Indian)” is written on the back of the canvas.  The painting is signed “Chethlahe” in its lower left corner.


Condition: this Original Navajo Painting titled "Harvest Dancers" by David Chethlahe Paladin is in excellent condition

Provenance: from the estate of a large collection of a New York resident

Recommended Reading: Painting the Dream: The Visionary Art of Navajo Painter David Chethlahe Paladin by David Paladin (author)

Note: when we say Diné, as opposed to Navaho or Navajo, we are referring to the people and not the government.  Since 1969, their government refers to itself as the Navajo Nation.

Relative Links: David Chethlahe PaladinDorothy Dunn, Navajo - Diné, Native American Paintings

David Chethlahe Paladin, Navajo Painter
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Diné - Navajo Nation
  • Medium: acrylic on canvas
  • Size:
    18-3/4” x 15” image;
    20-1/4” x 16-1/4” framed
  • Item # C4155A
  • SOLD

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