This exhibition chronicles a visual dialogue within an important Navajo family of artists, a father, son, and two daughters: Narciso Abeyta (1918–1998), Pablita Abeyta (1953-2017), Elizabeth Abeyta (1955–2006), and Tony Abeyta (b. 1965). Their story begins in 1918 and continues to the present. Each artist is/was a master of their field in their own right. Their works include paintings, sculptures, and jewelry that provide a cultural history and the distinctive perspective of two generations of Navajo life and art and a continuum in art practice and storytelling. The exhibition reveals autobiographic narratives’ intimate and resonant moments through their unique contemporary techniques and styles.
The title references the Navajo word K’é, which means family and connections to love and compassion. The Abeyta family is originally from Cañoncito, New Mexico, currently known as To’Hajiilee, and is specific to the Cañoncito Band of Navajo, located West of Albuquerque. The father and children differ in content and style in many ways, but all four provide significant contemporary Navajo narratives. Their work connects to life on the Navajo reservation, the world outside of the Navajo’s four sacred mountains, and the family connection to specific historic times in the Native American Fine Art movement. Their work additionally celebrates the continuum of Hozhó, which means beauty, balance, harmony, and being at one with the world around you.
IN THE NEWS
Essential Art Magazine | March 2022
The Abeyta you know, and those you don’t, on view together at Wheelwright Museum
Part 2 – Native American art and history as told through the Abeyta Family
New Mexico Magazine | March 23, 2022
Art, Trama, and the Abeyta Family Legacy
Southwest Contemporary | February 22, 2022
Abeyta | To’Hajiilee K’é at the Wheelwright Museum
Santa Fe Reporter | February 16, 2022
SFR Picks – Family Affair: Wheelwright goes deep with the Abetya family
Albuquerque Journal | February 5, 2022
Wheelwright Exhibit Looks at Two Generations of Navajo Artists | PDF (4.8 MB)