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SANTA FE - The 90th Annual Santa Fe Indian Art Market is kicks off this weekend. For artists the hustle and bustle of the excitement of Indian Market Week has already begun.
One great Diné artist who will be featured at the Indian Art Market is Lyndon Tsosie. His work may be seen in Santa Fe now through August 21 the House of Lyndon at the Hotel Chimayo D, 124 Washington Avenue in Santa Fe.
Tsosie's original and imaginative work is immediately captivating. He is one of the finest jewelers on the American Indian art scene today. His work has been compared to great innovators of design as well as master creators of the ornament.
Tsosie's pendants, for example, may be simple ovals or rectangles, yet their simplicity belies their sophistication. Inside the encircling silver or gold is a miniature painting of inlaid stones, with the modern composition of Mondrian or Kandinsky: an abstract of colors that evokes a scene, a memory, a balance of color and shape that never ceases to tease and please the eye. Other pendants have a more abstract outer form.
Here the stones may serve as accents to underscore a story told in raised precious metals, recounting ancient Indian symbols as if they were Egyptian hieroglyphics. In fact, ancient Egypt is often honored in Lyndon's work with homage to other cultures and periods of history mixed in with his own. That mix of traditional Navajo, multi-cultural and historic influences, along with a flair for the modern and an appetite for the new and daring is what sets Lyndon's work apart from all others.
His rings, for example, may be elegantly smooth, or they may jump up to greet you as flowers that suddenly sprout after a spring rain, daring to indulge your eyes and your fantasies, to revel in their individual beauty.
It is in his boxes that we see his most innovative direction. Here all facets of the artists' work are combined in a majestic display. Stones are set and inlaid, lids sculpted with metal and stones, surfaces etched with words, symbols, images and embroidered with inlay. The inside of the lid, and the inside of the box is just as reverently and lusciously beautiful as the outside.
In many of Tsosie's finer necklaces and bolo ties, the same care of detail is evident. Often the back of the pendant, the back of the necklace, even the clasp itself, is just as heavily adorned as that which is always on display. And in that adornment is always a hidden story, layers of mythology and truth, agonies and joys, the treasures of artistry as it reflects on civilization, told by Tsosie.
Never satisfied with old formulas that have worked for him in the past, every year Tsosie's work aspires to explore new ground as one of the finest artists of our time to reveal untold treasures.
posted August 18, 2011 7:30 am edt
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