In 1974, Johnson grew tired of railroad work and decided it was time to stay home. Returning to his home in the Bisti, he yearned for a more traditional life, driving a wagon and herding his own sheep and goats. In the early 1980's, Johnson was compelled to start carving. On a whim, he gathered cottonwood from a wash in nearby Farmington. Using an axe to rough out the pieces, refining features with a pocket knife and painting with watercolors and dleesh ( a fragile white clay used by the Navajos to paint their bodies); he created his early figures in the hope that someone would be interested in purchasing his Navajo people. Today, he experiences great satisfaction in creating what he knows best, Navajo men and women and the animals for which they care. His work is collected internationally and resides in the permanent collections of the American Folk Art Museum in New York, the National Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C. and the International Museum of Folk Art in Santa Fe. (Thanks to Twin Rocks Trading Post for the biography.)
I believe that every collection should include Native American artwork. I am proud to offer some of the best carvings from a very distinguished Navajo artist who is represented in major museums.
This is a polychrome carved wooden figure depicting a standing older woman wearing a striped green shawl. Johnson Antonio seems to capture the mood and the personality of those he depicts. This lady seems resigned to her life. A moving sculpture. Among his sculptures, as well as most Native American artwork, there are far fewer women depicted than men. I was only able to buy two women.
Size: 3 1/2" x 3 1/2", 12 1/2" tall.
Signed/Dated: On Bottom "J. Antonio -89 -"
Unique Collectibles, Antiques and Fine Arts from Around the World
Never the ordinary...unique items chosen over the last 50 years of travel around the world.