Untitled Painting of Five Antelope [SOLD]

C4162N-paint.jpg

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Narciso Platero Abeyta, Ha So De - Fiercely Ascending, Navajo Painter
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Diné - Navajo Nation
  • Medium: watercolor
  • Size:
    15” x 31-½” image;
    21-⅝” x 38-⅛” framed
  • Item # C4162N
  • SOLD

Narciso Platero Abeyta - Ha So De - Photo Source: Wikipedia

Narciso Platero Abeyta (1918-1998) Ha So De - Fiercely Ascending was a Diné painter and silversmith.  He was, among other things, a Golden Gloves boxer and one of the hundreds of Navajo Code Talkers who served in the Marines during World War II.   He and wife Sylvia Ann had seven children, many of whom—Tony AbeytaElizabeth Abeyta Rohrscheib and Pablita Abeyta-became notable artists themselves.  He is highly revered by collectors of Native American art, and his works are included in numerous prestigious public and private collections. Because of his unique style, his enormously talented children, and his influence on younger painters, he is regarded as one of the most significant Native American painters.

Abeyta received his initial art education at the Santa Fe Indian School, whose art instructor Dorothy Dunn commented on his abilities in her book American Indian Painting of the Southwest and Plains Areas: “Ha-So-De developed a markedly unique style, although, in his formative period, his admiration for the work of (Navajo painter Andy) Tsihnahjinnie could be clearly seen.  It was a fine influence and used honorably by the younger painter. His paintings of hunt and home scenes were broad in brushwork and flowing in line, at times appearing almost nonchalant. He was never concerned with small detail but only with the sweep and dash of movement in wild, free scenes. His was a positive art.” Abeyta received further education at the University of New Mexico, where he studied under famous modernist painter Raymond Jonson.

While his earliest works bear an Indian School influence, the majority of Abeyta’s works are composed in a manner that is atypical of the Navajo painters of his day.   His subjects—horses, hunters, Yei figures, ceremonial and daily rituals—were decidedly Navajo, but the style in which he depicted these subjects was all his own. While his peers favored detail and naturalism, he favored stylization and abstraction.

This untitled painting, which was completed in the early 1980s, provides an excellent example of the “markedly unique” style that Dorothy Dunn described in her book.  Abeyta’s subjects here are five antelope standing among plants and rocks. The antelope are absolutely gorgeous, completed using dark reds and a strong yellow, augmented with black. The plants that surround them and the rocks scattered around their feet add cool blues and greens to the mix.  The painting’s wide arrangement is uncommon, and works strongly in its favor.

Artist Signature - Narciso Platero Abeyta (1918-1998) Ha So De - Fiercely AscendingAbeyta’s linework is, as per usual, a highlight. Each antelope is framed at least partially by thin black lines, over and around which the artist adds wider, looser lines in red and yellow. Black lines frame the antelope’s eyes, too—an interesting choice that adds to their already intense beauty. This atypical approach is what makes Abeyta’s paintings instantly recognizable.  These images are dreamy, strange, and beautiful—unlike anything that was created by the artist’s peers. Abeyta was ahead of his time, and his singular compositional style is as appealing as ever in this excellent painting.

 

Condition: this Untitled Painting of Five Antelope is in excellent condition

Provenance: from the collection of a Texas resident

Recommended Reading: American Indian Painting of the Southwest and Plains Areas by Dorothy Dunn

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.

Close up view of 2 of the antelope.

Narciso Platero Abeyta, Ha So De - Fiercely Ascending, Navajo Painter
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Diné - Navajo Nation
  • Medium: watercolor
  • Size:
    15” x 31-½” image;
    21-⅝” x 38-⅛” framed
  • Item # C4162N
  • SOLD

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