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Untitled Painting of Southwestern Landscape

26101-paint.jpg

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Albert Lujan (1892-1948) Weasel Arrow
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Taos Pueblo
  • Medium: oil on board
  • Size:
    7-⅝” x 9-½” image;
    10-½” x 12-½” framed
  • Item # 26101
  • Price: $1,575.00

Albert Lujan (1892-1948) Weasel Arrow was an early Taos Pueblo painter.  Lujan was ahead of his time in painting European-American style art rather than the Santa Fe Indian School style being practiced by most of the other Native American artists of his time. He, along with Albert Looking Elk Martinez and Juan Mirabal, was greatly influenced by the Anglo Taos artists of the time.  The work of all three artists was shunned by collectors and the Museum of New Mexico Fine Art Gallery because it was too much like that which the Taos and Santa Fe artists produced. Today, however, collectors and museums have a great appreciation for works by the “Three Taos Pueblo Painters.”

Lujan, who was also a farmer and minister, never received any formal artistic training.  He began painting around 1915, which would place him among the earliest known pueblo painters.  He specialized in painting the multi-storied buildings at the pueblo, usually devoid of people. Typically, these views included one of the main pueblo houses or an isolated adobe residence, each framed by beehive ovens, majestic mountains, a beautiful blue sky, and, occasionally, a ristra of chili.

Northern New Mexico’s rich natural beauty has drawn the attention of artists from all around the world, pulling them away from the city and into the sprawling desert.  The Natives, too, found the desert landscapes to be worthy of recreation. Their familiarity with and respect for the land informed all aspects of their lives and artworks, and so their portrayals are often gifted with a notable sensitivity.  This untitled painting—a rarity for Lujan, who usually painted Taos Pueblo itself—is an excellent example of this sensitivity.

Dividing the piece horizontally is a series of four mountain peaks made of gray, purple and white.  Behind the mountains, the bright blue sky covers the majority of the painting’s top half. In the foreground, the artist painted two gently curving hills.  The larger of the two is dotted with brown and orange plants. The smaller of the two, located in the painting’s lower right corner is occupied by two people.  One of them stands while the other kneels, and they both appear to be gazing towards the mountains. Lujan’s inclusion of human subjects is a rare treat. As with the landscape, he depicted his human subjects skillfully and gracefully, resulting in an extraordinary piece.

Artist Signature - Albert Lujan (1892-1948) Weasel ArrowThe painting is signed in its lower right corner..  Sketched in pencil on the back side of the board is a man on horseback, a sketch abandoned by the artist in preference for the painting on front.



Condition: this Untitled Painting of Southwestern Landscape is in excellent condition

Provenance: from a New Mexico collector

Recommended Reading:  For a compelling and comprehensive overview of the life and artwork of Albert Lujan please see “Albert Lujan: Entrepreneurial Pueblo Painter of Tourist Art (1892 - 1948)” by Bradley F. Taylor, American Indian Art Magazine, Volume 25, Number 4, Autumn 2000, page 56.

Albert Lujan (1892-1948) Weasel Arrow
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Taos Pueblo
  • Medium: oil on board
  • Size:
    7-⅝” x 9-½” image;
    10-½” x 12-½” framed
  • Item # 26101
  • Price: $1,575.00

26101-paint.jpg26101-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.