Sign on
gPowered byeMuseum

Native American

Sorted AscendingTitleDateArtistClassificationDimensions
Eagle Dancec.1930Julian Martinez
Julian Martinez San Ildefonso Pueblo, NM - United States (1897 - 1943)
Although Julian Martinez (San Ildefonso Pueblo) created many paintings on paper, he is best known for his collaborations with his wife, the potter Maria Martinez (San Ildefonso Pueblo). Maria formed and polished the elegant vessels and Julian applied the painted decoration. Although they occasionally created vessels with colored designs, the couple gained an international reputation for their wok with matte black decorations on polished black surfaces.

In part, the national popularity of their pottery can be attributed to the ease with which the smooth, geometric shapes matched the art deco style of design of the 1930s and 1940s, or as Maria simply put it: ​“Black goes with everything.” Julian painted the small Bowl (see illustration, page 2), which was formed by Maria with the Avanyu or horned serpent that also appears in his watercolor painting of Avanyu.

https://americanart.si.edu/artist/julian-martinez-3141
painting 16 × 20 in. (40.6 × 50.8 cm)
Earth Child (State II)1979R.C. Gorman
R.C. Gorman United States, Navajo (1932 - 2005)
Before moving to Taos, R.C. Gorman had enjoyed an active career in several venues. During a stint in the Navy, he drew portraits of his fellow sailors’ girlfriends. Borrowing on the style of Alberto Vargas, he glamorized the home-town girls for a small fee, and always managed to have extra spending money.

After his discharge from the Navy, the Navajo People awarded Gorman their first scholarship to study art abroad. He spent a Bohemian year studying at Mexico City College, now known as the University of the Americas. Gorman thrived under the influence of the Mexican masters: Orozco, Rivera, Siqueiros, and Tamayo. He never met any of these artists, and he never studied directly with them, but their influence on his art was tremendous. Their use of color and freedom of style stimulated his imagination. Why couldn’t he apply this same freedom when depicting his own people and traditions?

During this time, the contemporary Indian art movement as we know it today was nonexistent. Indian art was confined to the “traditional” style encouraged by the Indian art schools. Gorman had no bonds to this style. He was unique. He experimented randomly.

His approach to drawing, especially, developed almost by accident during this year in Mexico. As he hurried from an oil painting class to a drawing class, he cleaned his brushes on the butcher paper on which he drew with a grease pencil. Then when he worked on the oily paper, the pencil grease partially dissolved and gave a marvelous washed effect, so he added color using turpentine as a medium. He developed and refined this technique and still uses this approach forty years later.

Gorman says he never mastered Spanish in Mexico (he actually knows more than he claims), but returned speaking broken English instead. “English is still my second language. Navajo is where it’s at.”

After Mexico, Gorman moved to San Francisco and established his first studio. He was the stereotypical struggling, if not starving, up-and-coming artist. To supplement his income, R.C. worked as an artists’ model for several university and private classes throughout the Bay area. This proved an invaluable experience in his training. While posing, he wasn’t able to participate in the classes, or receive critiques from the instructors, but he listened, observed, and absorbed the knowledge of several masters.

In San Francisco Gorman’s artistic output was prodigious. It was here that he painted the abstract canvases based on Navajo rug designs and Pueblo pottery patterns that brought him his first recognition. His career started to jell; he had more than a dozen one-man exhibitions and two-man exhibits with his father, Carl N. Gorman. He also competed successfully in Indian art competitions, bringing home first place awards in painting and drawing. In 1967, an oil painting titled “Desert Mother” won first place at the American Indian Heritage Art Exhibition in Oklahoma City. His lithograph “Navajo Mother in Supplication” won second place. “That’s great,” he was heard to remark, “but what happened to my third entry?”

https://rcgormannavajogallery.com/years-in-taos/
print Overall: 22 1/4 x 30 in. (56.5 x 76.2 cm)
Leila with Child1978R.C. Gorman
R.C. Gorman United States, Navajo (1932 - 2005)
Before moving to Taos, R.C. Gorman had enjoyed an active career in several venues. During a stint in the Navy, he drew portraits of his fellow sailors’ girlfriends. Borrowing on the style of Alberto Vargas, he glamorized the home-town girls for a small fee, and always managed to have extra spending money.

After his discharge from the Navy, the Navajo People awarded Gorman their first scholarship to study art abroad. He spent a Bohemian year studying at Mexico City College, now known as the University of the Americas. Gorman thrived under the influence of the Mexican masters: Orozco, Rivera, Siqueiros, and Tamayo. He never met any of these artists, and he never studied directly with them, but their influence on his art was tremendous. Their use of color and freedom of style stimulated his imagination. Why couldn’t he apply this same freedom when depicting his own people and traditions?

During this time, the contemporary Indian art movement as we know it today was nonexistent. Indian art was confined to the “traditional” style encouraged by the Indian art schools. Gorman had no bonds to this style. He was unique. He experimented randomly.

His approach to drawing, especially, developed almost by accident during this year in Mexico. As he hurried from an oil painting class to a drawing class, he cleaned his brushes on the butcher paper on which he drew with a grease pencil. Then when he worked on the oily paper, the pencil grease partially dissolved and gave a marvelous washed effect, so he added color using turpentine as a medium. He developed and refined this technique and still uses this approach forty years later.

Gorman says he never mastered Spanish in Mexico (he actually knows more than he claims), but returned speaking broken English instead. “English is still my second language. Navajo is where it’s at.”

After Mexico, Gorman moved to San Francisco and established his first studio. He was the stereotypical struggling, if not starving, up-and-coming artist. To supplement his income, R.C. worked as an artists’ model for several university and private classes throughout the Bay area. This proved an invaluable experience in his training. While posing, he wasn’t able to participate in the classes, or receive critiques from the instructors, but he listened, observed, and absorbed the knowledge of several masters.

In San Francisco Gorman’s artistic output was prodigious. It was here that he painted the abstract canvases based on Navajo rug designs and Pueblo pottery patterns that brought him his first recognition. His career started to jell; he had more than a dozen one-man exhibitions and two-man exhibits with his father, Carl N. Gorman. He also competed successfully in Indian art competitions, bringing home first place awards in painting and drawing. In 1967, an oil painting titled “Desert Mother” won first place at the American Indian Heritage Art Exhibition in Oklahoma City. His lithograph “Navajo Mother in Supplication” won second place. “That’s great,” he was heard to remark, “but what happened to my third entry?”

https://rcgormannavajogallery.com/years-in-taos/
print Overall: 22 1/4 x 30 in. (56.5 x 76.2 cm)
Momma He’s Lazy2010Dwayne Wilcox
Dwayne Wilcox
Dwayne Wilcox is a contemporary Lakota artist using humor to comment on culture and cultural challenges. He grew up on the east side of the Pine Ridge Reservation. His family comes from the Eagle Nest District.

Dwayne attended the Crazy Horse School in Wanblee. In his own words “I never had any real art training other than being around a lot of talented traditional artists, most of all I always liked the humor of my friends and my family. I like to reflect on some of the stories told to me by friends and the political environment that may need to be adjusted to the native point of view, this is why I draw these images and show the viewers not from my culture, there is another point of view”.

When asked why he uses the lined paper and why use humor Dwayne responds with “Beads, cloth, paper… all of which had been introduced around the same time, and it was at a period when natives of the plains were losing their homeland to new conquerors and their refusal to give up the right to be free caused many to be imprisoned. Many of the earliest ledgers were done during incarceration. Like bead work, it has become a medium for a traditional style. In the Lakota tradition there is the Sacred Clown and in drawing can reflect that humor, I see that as part of the old values of traditional life ways.”
Dwayne currently lives in Rapid City, SD.

http://jwillis.net/artist-statement-dwayne-wilcox/
drawing sheet: 11 3/4 × 18 in. (29.8 × 45.7 cm)
Night Storm1993Tony Abeyta
Tony Abeyta Navajo (Navajo, born 1965)
Tony Abeyta is considered one of the finest young contemporary painters today. Abeyta explores a variety of mediums including oil, charcoal, and sand. Because he experiments with techniques and images so much, his creativity transcends any label that may be used to identify his work. Abeyta was commissioned to create the signature image of the National Museum of the American Indians groundbreaking opening in Washington, DC. Many of Abeyta's highly original works are depictions of complex Navajo beliefs; they evoke the notion that there is power in everyone and everything. Avid collectors will consider their Abeyta piece to be a gift from a higher power. (Artist's Biography. 2010. Blue Rain Gallery. http://blueraingallery.com/artists/tony_abeyta/)
print sheet: 16 3/8 x 11 3/4 in. (41.6 x 29.8 cm)
Nude Couple1976R.C. Gorman
R.C. Gorman United States, Navajo (1932 - 2005)
Before moving to Taos, R.C. Gorman had enjoyed an active career in several venues. During a stint in the Navy, he drew portraits of his fellow sailors’ girlfriends. Borrowing on the style of Alberto Vargas, he glamorized the home-town girls for a small fee, and always managed to have extra spending money.

After his discharge from the Navy, the Navajo People awarded Gorman their first scholarship to study art abroad. He spent a Bohemian year studying at Mexico City College, now known as the University of the Americas. Gorman thrived under the influence of the Mexican masters: Orozco, Rivera, Siqueiros, and Tamayo. He never met any of these artists, and he never studied directly with them, but their influence on his art was tremendous. Their use of color and freedom of style stimulated his imagination. Why couldn’t he apply this same freedom when depicting his own people and traditions?

During this time, the contemporary Indian art movement as we know it today was nonexistent. Indian art was confined to the “traditional” style encouraged by the Indian art schools. Gorman had no bonds to this style. He was unique. He experimented randomly.

His approach to drawing, especially, developed almost by accident during this year in Mexico. As he hurried from an oil painting class to a drawing class, he cleaned his brushes on the butcher paper on which he drew with a grease pencil. Then when he worked on the oily paper, the pencil grease partially dissolved and gave a marvelous washed effect, so he added color using turpentine as a medium. He developed and refined this technique and still uses this approach forty years later.

Gorman says he never mastered Spanish in Mexico (he actually knows more than he claims), but returned speaking broken English instead. “English is still my second language. Navajo is where it’s at.”

After Mexico, Gorman moved to San Francisco and established his first studio. He was the stereotypical struggling, if not starving, up-and-coming artist. To supplement his income, R.C. worked as an artists’ model for several university and private classes throughout the Bay area. This proved an invaluable experience in his training. While posing, he wasn’t able to participate in the classes, or receive critiques from the instructors, but he listened, observed, and absorbed the knowledge of several masters.

In San Francisco Gorman’s artistic output was prodigious. It was here that he painted the abstract canvases based on Navajo rug designs and Pueblo pottery patterns that brought him his first recognition. His career started to jell; he had more than a dozen one-man exhibitions and two-man exhibits with his father, Carl N. Gorman. He also competed successfully in Indian art competitions, bringing home first place awards in painting and drawing. In 1967, an oil painting titled “Desert Mother” won first place at the American Indian Heritage Art Exhibition in Oklahoma City. His lithograph “Navajo Mother in Supplication” won second place. “That’s great,” he was heard to remark, “but what happened to my third entry?”

https://rcgormannavajogallery.com/years-in-taos/
drawing Framed: 38 x 32 in. (96.5 x 81.3 cm)
Pueblo Woman1978R.C. Gorman
R.C. Gorman United States, Navajo (1932 - 2005)
Before moving to Taos, R.C. Gorman had enjoyed an active career in several venues. During a stint in the Navy, he drew portraits of his fellow sailors’ girlfriends. Borrowing on the style of Alberto Vargas, he glamorized the home-town girls for a small fee, and always managed to have extra spending money.

After his discharge from the Navy, the Navajo People awarded Gorman their first scholarship to study art abroad. He spent a Bohemian year studying at Mexico City College, now known as the University of the Americas. Gorman thrived under the influence of the Mexican masters: Orozco, Rivera, Siqueiros, and Tamayo. He never met any of these artists, and he never studied directly with them, but their influence on his art was tremendous. Their use of color and freedom of style stimulated his imagination. Why couldn’t he apply this same freedom when depicting his own people and traditions?

During this time, the contemporary Indian art movement as we know it today was nonexistent. Indian art was confined to the “traditional” style encouraged by the Indian art schools. Gorman had no bonds to this style. He was unique. He experimented randomly.

His approach to drawing, especially, developed almost by accident during this year in Mexico. As he hurried from an oil painting class to a drawing class, he cleaned his brushes on the butcher paper on which he drew with a grease pencil. Then when he worked on the oily paper, the pencil grease partially dissolved and gave a marvelous washed effect, so he added color using turpentine as a medium. He developed and refined this technique and still uses this approach forty years later.

Gorman says he never mastered Spanish in Mexico (he actually knows more than he claims), but returned speaking broken English instead. “English is still my second language. Navajo is where it’s at.”

After Mexico, Gorman moved to San Francisco and established his first studio. He was the stereotypical struggling, if not starving, up-and-coming artist. To supplement his income, R.C. worked as an artists’ model for several university and private classes throughout the Bay area. This proved an invaluable experience in his training. While posing, he wasn’t able to participate in the classes, or receive critiques from the instructors, but he listened, observed, and absorbed the knowledge of several masters.

In San Francisco Gorman’s artistic output was prodigious. It was here that he painted the abstract canvases based on Navajo rug designs and Pueblo pottery patterns that brought him his first recognition. His career started to jell; he had more than a dozen one-man exhibitions and two-man exhibits with his father, Carl N. Gorman. He also competed successfully in Indian art competitions, bringing home first place awards in painting and drawing. In 1967, an oil painting titled “Desert Mother” won first place at the American Indian Heritage Art Exhibition in Oklahoma City. His lithograph “Navajo Mother in Supplication” won second place. “That’s great,” he was heard to remark, “but what happened to my third entry?”

https://rcgormannavajogallery.com/years-in-taos/
print Overall: 18 x 15 in. (45.7 x 38.1 cm)
Soup de Jour2010Dwayne Wilcox
Dwayne Wilcox
Dwayne Wilcox is a contemporary Lakota artist using humor to comment on culture and cultural challenges. He grew up on the east side of the Pine Ridge Reservation. His family comes from the Eagle Nest District.

Dwayne attended the Crazy Horse School in Wanblee. In his own words “I never had any real art training other than being around a lot of talented traditional artists, most of all I always liked the humor of my friends and my family. I like to reflect on some of the stories told to me by friends and the political environment that may need to be adjusted to the native point of view, this is why I draw these images and show the viewers not from my culture, there is another point of view”.

When asked why he uses the lined paper and why use humor Dwayne responds with “Beads, cloth, paper… all of which had been introduced around the same time, and it was at a period when natives of the plains were losing their homeland to new conquerors and their refusal to give up the right to be free caused many to be imprisoned. Many of the earliest ledgers were done during incarceration. Like bead work, it has become a medium for a traditional style. In the Lakota tradition there is the Sacred Clown and in drawing can reflect that humor, I see that as part of the old values of traditional life ways.”
Dwayne currently lives in Rapid City, SD.

http://jwillis.net/artist-statement-dwayne-wilcox/
drawing sheet: 11 3/4 × 18 in. (29.8 × 45.7 cm)
Sue Bah (State II)1979R.C. Gorman
R.C. Gorman United States, Navajo (1932 - 2005)
Before moving to Taos, R.C. Gorman had enjoyed an active career in several venues. During a stint in the Navy, he drew portraits of his fellow sailors’ girlfriends. Borrowing on the style of Alberto Vargas, he glamorized the home-town girls for a small fee, and always managed to have extra spending money.

After his discharge from the Navy, the Navajo People awarded Gorman their first scholarship to study art abroad. He spent a Bohemian year studying at Mexico City College, now known as the University of the Americas. Gorman thrived under the influence of the Mexican masters: Orozco, Rivera, Siqueiros, and Tamayo. He never met any of these artists, and he never studied directly with them, but their influence on his art was tremendous. Their use of color and freedom of style stimulated his imagination. Why couldn’t he apply this same freedom when depicting his own people and traditions?

During this time, the contemporary Indian art movement as we know it today was nonexistent. Indian art was confined to the “traditional” style encouraged by the Indian art schools. Gorman had no bonds to this style. He was unique. He experimented randomly.

His approach to drawing, especially, developed almost by accident during this year in Mexico. As he hurried from an oil painting class to a drawing class, he cleaned his brushes on the butcher paper on which he drew with a grease pencil. Then when he worked on the oily paper, the pencil grease partially dissolved and gave a marvelous washed effect, so he added color using turpentine as a medium. He developed and refined this technique and still uses this approach forty years later.

Gorman says he never mastered Spanish in Mexico (he actually knows more than he claims), but returned speaking broken English instead. “English is still my second language. Navajo is where it’s at.”

After Mexico, Gorman moved to San Francisco and established his first studio. He was the stereotypical struggling, if not starving, up-and-coming artist. To supplement his income, R.C. worked as an artists’ model for several university and private classes throughout the Bay area. This proved an invaluable experience in his training. While posing, he wasn’t able to participate in the classes, or receive critiques from the instructors, but he listened, observed, and absorbed the knowledge of several masters.

In San Francisco Gorman’s artistic output was prodigious. It was here that he painted the abstract canvases based on Navajo rug designs and Pueblo pottery patterns that brought him his first recognition. His career started to jell; he had more than a dozen one-man exhibitions and two-man exhibits with his father, Carl N. Gorman. He also competed successfully in Indian art competitions, bringing home first place awards in painting and drawing. In 1967, an oil painting titled “Desert Mother” won first place at the American Indian Heritage Art Exhibition in Oklahoma City. His lithograph “Navajo Mother in Supplication” won second place. “That’s great,” he was heard to remark, “but what happened to my third entry?”

https://rcgormannavajogallery.com/years-in-taos/
print Overall: 22 1/4 x 28 in. (56.5 x 71.1 cm)
Sunset1993Tony Abeyta
Tony Abeyta Navajo (Navajo, born 1965)
Tony Abeyta is considered one of the finest young contemporary painters today. Abeyta explores a variety of mediums including oil, charcoal, and sand. Because he experiments with techniques and images so much, his creativity transcends any label that may be used to identify his work. Abeyta was commissioned to create the signature image of the National Museum of the American Indians groundbreaking opening in Washington, DC. Many of Abeyta's highly original works are depictions of complex Navajo beliefs; they evoke the notion that there is power in everyone and everything. Avid collectors will consider their Abeyta piece to be a gift from a higher power. (Artist's Biography. 2010. Blue Rain Gallery. http://blueraingallery.com/artists/tony_abeyta/)
print sheet: 16 x 11 1/2 in. (40.6 x 29.2 cm)