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Pair of Paintings of Navajo Feather Dancers [SOLD]

C3791D-paintings.jpg

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Harrison Begay (1914-2012) Haashké yah Níyá - The Wandering Boy
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Diné - Navajo Nation
  • Medium: watercolor - PRICE IS FOR THE PAIR
  • Size:
    9-3/4” x 15-1/8” each, image;
    16-3/4" x 21-1/2" each, framed
  • Item # C3791D
  • SOLD

Artist 2 Signatures: Harrison Begay (1917-2012) (Haashké yah Níyá)Harrison Begay was perhaps the most well-known Navajo painter of his generation.  As a student of Dorothy Dunn’s at the Santa Fe Indian School, Begay learned how to paint in the “Studio Style” (or “flat style”) for which he would eventually become world-renowned.  He and his classmates—Quincy Tahoma and Gerald Nailor among them—were encouraged to depict religious ceremonies and cultural rituals using a simple but effective set of tools: bold, opaque watercolors. 


Like many of his contemporaries at The Studio, the majority of Begay’s work depicts the rituals, dances, and ceremonies that were so vital to his culture.  Each of these paintings depicts a finely dressed young Navajo Feather Dancer.  Little has been written about these ceremonies, but they must have been very important to Begay.  He painted them frequently during his long career, and always showed the dancers smiling and enjoying themselves.  The two dancers featured in these paintings appear to be full of joy, smiling upwards towards their ornate, feather-adorned wands.  They are wearing elaborate clothing and colorful jewelry while dancing, all of which is painted in great detail.


Above each of the dancers is a blue and pink “Guardian Rainbow,” one of the many Yei figures that Begay used very frequently in his paintings.  Yei figures are sacred to Navajo people, as they allow communication between humans and their gods.  These “Guardian Rainbow” Yei figures protect the dancers below them, and provide Begay with an opportunity to add more of his warm pinks and blues to his already vibrant palette.  This pair of paintings is a great example of Begay at his best, using his considerable command of color to create something truly unique.  



Condition:  These paintings are in very good condition

Recommended Reading:  Visions and Voices: Native American Painting from the Philbrook Museum of Art by Suzanne Abel-Vidor, et al.

Provenance:  From the collection of a Santa Fe resident

PRICE IS FOR THE PAIR OF PAINTINGS

Harrison Begay (1914-2012) Haashké yah Níyá - The Wandering Boy
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Diné - Navajo Nation
  • Medium: watercolor - PRICE IS FOR THE PAIR
  • Size:
    9-3/4” x 15-1/8” each, image;
    16-3/4" x 21-1/2" each, framed
  • Item # C3791D
  • SOLD

C3791D-paintings.jpgC3791D-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.