MONROVIA, Calif. – John Moran Auctioneers, Inc.’s first Art of the American West sale of 2022 will take place on Tuesday, May 24. Enthusiasts of Native American art as well as Western art will find abundant examples of pottery, textiles, basketry and beadwork as well as fine art, sculpture, Native American kachina figures and painted retablos. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
Native American pottery will feature in the auction, with examples from esteemed artists such as Margaret Tafoya, who is represented by a Santa Clara Pueblo redware jar estimated at $4,000-$6,000.
Also, two works by Richard Zane Smith appear in the sale lineup. He draws on his ancient Wyandotte heritage as well as Navajo and ancient Puebloan sources to create designs that incorporate coils and layers within the clay. His striking ridged textured polychrome pottery jar carries an estimate of $3,000-$4,000.
Baskets on offer will include a number of Central California Yokuts baskets, among them a coiled boat-shape Yokuts basket with an attractive design representing multiple centipede arms, estimated at $800-$1,200.
Native American textiles will include a late 19th-century Navajo Germantown Moki (Moqui) variant blanket, in bold stripes and stepped diamonds, estimated at $6,000-$8,000; and an outstanding Navajo sandpainting weaving with Yei figures and a protective Rainbow Guardian, estimated at $1,000-$1,500.
Rio Grande textiles promise to pique the interest of textile enthusiasts everywhere. Notable examples include an early 20th-century multicolored Rio Grande blanket with a vibrant diagonal sawtooth stripe pattern, estimated at $800-$1,200.
Fine Art highlights include a selection of drawings and etchings by Edward Borein, among them an etching entitled Race to the Wagon No. 1, estimated at $700-$900. Borein was one of the few early Western artists who was actually born in the West.
A contemporary rendition of a cowboy is offered in the form of Ben Wright’s Red Rider in Hollywood, which is estimated at $1,000-$2,000. Wright draws from Native American ceremony, symbolism and tradition to attain balance, connectivity and spirituality in his work and life. He combines powerful imagery and intensely bold colors with a sophisticated glazing technique to achieve his impressive creations.
Rounding out the selected paintings are a sweeping Southwest desert landscape by Harry Wagoner, estimated at $3,000-$5,000, and a powerful 1982 abstract painting by Dan Namingha, Hopi Figure, estimated at $3,000-$5,000. A member of the Hopi-Tewa, Namingha has been a painter and a sculptor for more than 40 years. Namingha’s work provides a glimpse of his sacred traditions such as the spirit messengers or kachinas, which represent blessings, ancestors and cloud people, while he constantly challenges himself to try new styles, representation, abstraction and minimalism.
The fine art lineup in the May 24 auction also features classic Western bronzes by renowned sculptors such as CM Russell, Carl Kauba and John Coleman, among them his Little Hopi Clowns, estimated at $4,000-$6,000.
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