Gouache on paperboard painting of a young hunter on galloping gray horse, yellow rabbit tail in bloom below, a symbolic rainbow and other symbolic devices in the sky above, 12 3/4" by 9 1/2" (19" by 15 3/4" as framed), signed at lower right by the renowned Native American artist HARRISON BEGAY (1914-2012). This is a classic work by the recently-deceased master painter, the final living student of Dorothy Dunn of the Santa Fe Indian School. Born in Navajo country, the young Begay graduated from that important school in 1939, receiving further education at Black Mountain College in North Carolina. By 1947 he was making his living painting in the so-called "flat style" espoused by Dunn. In the course of a long career in the Native American arts (he was still painting as late as 2004, at age 90), Begay celebrated Navajo traditions and history, his paintings populated by traditional figures, either dancing, on horseback, or otherwise engaging in traditional activities, and animals. Often, symbolic features, as seen in this example, rounded out the composition. Serigraphs were made of many images and therefore Begay's art became affordable and widely distributed. Today it is sought after by collectors and museums far removed from the Southwest. This painting, recently acquired out of a dispersed local estate, is in excellent, fresh condition, and is ready for the wall.
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