Adobe Gallery Blog
Original Navajo Painting “One with the Wind” by Hush Ka Yel Ha Yah - C4077A
Charlie Lee (1926-2003) Hush Ka Yel Ha Yah (Warrior Who Came Out) was a Navajo painter who was educated by Geronima Montoya at the Santa Fe Indian School. During his high school years, he met Navajo artist Harrison Begay. Lee claimed to have unsuccessfully attempted to create works in Begay's style. Nevertheless, he wound up creating many works that were obviously influenced by Begay. After completing high school, he returned to the Navajo reservation and then back to Santa Fe, as he "did not feel at home at all" on the reservation. He continued studying music and art, and was ultimately moved to become a missionary. He attended Springfield, Missouri's Central Bible Institute and then returned to the Navajo Nation.
Like many Navajo painters, Lee's most commonly depicted subjects are horses and everyday rituals. Clara Lee Tanner's Southwest Indian Painting: A Changing Artdescribes Lee as a "good example of an Indian who started painting in the Navajo traditional style and then developed an occasional flourish in the direction of more realism. His late-1960s paintings demonstrated more ability and versatility than are to be noted in his earlier efforts." Tanner goes on to list his accomplishments: "Yel-Ha-Yah has exhibited extensively in the Southwest. He has won various prizes, including two firsts at the New Mexico State Fair in Albuquerque in 1947. Later recognition of his better work includes a Scottsdale second award in 1963 and a third prize at the 1969 Gallup Show." Lee passed away in 2003.
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