Shonto Begay | Online Exclusive

1 April - 31 May 2022

Modern West is excited to announce an Online Exclusive Exhibition of Shonto Begay’s newest works, on view April 1 through May 31, 2022. 


Working from imagination and experience, Begay’s rhythmic new works explore the experiences of characters in Southwestern space. Through small-scale works, Begay aims to condense information and reveal the feeling and connection of figures to their environments. In Cleaning the Morning Earth, 2022, a woman with a headscarf upkeeps the path between the hogan and sheep corral. “She is revealing red earth, connecting responsibilities through a path. She is aware of everything,” - Shonto Begay


A stand-out work from the exhibition is Centering of a Presence, 2022. The only work without a human figure, the painting features a lone juniper tree. For Begay, the juniper is symbolically tied to human connection. Begay is known for his trees, he says he has painted a whole forest at this point in his career. For the Diné people, the juniper tree is recognized as Grandfather. Reaching for heaven and hope, juniper trees represent strength and wisdom. Growing up amongst trees, Begay became aware from a young age of the movement of the bark, how the wood moves and grows, and through his brushstrokes he grows his own trees on canvas. For him, reflecting on trees and figures in these Southwestern landscapes is a mindful practice. Painting connects Begay to his heritage, memories, and identity, and viewers of Begay’s works are reminded of the rhythm of life through his work.


Begay’s narrative-driven new works will be available exclusively through our Online Exhibition platform, April 1 - May 31.