Youngblood, Nathan – Avanyu & Dragon Tri-Color Jar

8"w x 9.5"h

$ 24,000.00

Nathan Youngblood has long taken inspiration from the world around him.  His work for decades has drawn inspiration from both Pueblo and Asian art.  When he was a young boy, while his father was in the military, they were stationed in the Netherlands, and he said he would often go to the museums and look at Asian ceramics.  That has been a life-long love affair with those distinctive forms and designs.  This jar has a very Asian form and the designs play out the duality at times found in his art.  Around the shoulder on one side is a dragon and then the opposite a water serpent (avanyu).  Each facing the other.  There are two opposing medallions, one with Pueblo clouds and the other a cipher.  Around the neck is a band of clouds and around the base, in tan, is a band of clouds, wind and eagle feathers. The deep red clay slip on this jar is exceptional and contrasts perfectly with the tan and matte areas.  While the shape, carving, and designing might seem like enough, Nathan also takes his pottery one step further. After it is fired, he uses small screwdrivers and scrapes the sides of the carved designs and the recessed areas, to create a visually striking contrast.  This style has been called, “the new Santa Clara polychrome”, although I usually called it “tri-color” with the variations of red, matte and buff areas. The jar was traditionally fired.  The result of various levels of color and imagery make for an exceptional jar that is certainly a reflection of how Native art has become a world art, and the two are meeting as equals.