In this serene painting, Emmi Whitehorse achieves a unique balance between her modern art training and her Native heritage. Born and raised on the Navajo reservation, she lived with her grandmother and was surrounded by Navajo stories and cultural traditions. For Whitehorse, the Southwest landscape is her identity and the source of her inspiration. In this painting, loosely formed abstractions fill the surface and float in a hazy, fluid medium that could be a mirage of heat or a sandstone cliff. The floating, abstract shapes resemble seeds, pods, and roots of plants, imagery that also relates to Navajo weaving, in which plants are used as dye sources. As a child, Whitehorse collected plants with her grandmother, who hung them on the walls of their house to dry. That is the origin of the floating vegetal forms.
Pastel and oil on paper mounted on canvas
Signed LL verso: "#1179 'FIRE WEED'/7/1998/monogram.../_.horse"
Signed LR: "///"
This item is not on view
Gift of Hinrich Peiper and Dorothee Peiper-Riegraf in honor of Emmi Whitehorse
© Emmi Whitehorse
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Emmi Whitehorse (Navajo, born 1957). Fire Weed, 1998. Pastel and oil on paper mounted on canvas, 39 x 51 in. (99.1 x 129.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Hinrich Peiper and Dorothee Peiper-Riegraf in honor of Emmi Whitehorse, 2006.49. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2006.49_PS1.jpg)
overall, 2006.49_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2006
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