Latin American Masters gallery presents Sculpture of Ancient Mexico. The exhibition includes twenty-four Pre-Hispanic terracotta figures from the cultures of Nayarit, Jalisco, Colima, Veracruz and the Yucatan.
Early interest in Pre-Hispanic art focused on cultures that produced writing, monumental stone carvings and architecture. Over time influential collectors, from Diego Rivera to Nelson Rockefeller, began to admire and collect the hollow-bodied ceramic sculptures of Mexico’s lesser-known cultures. Today, many of these works, such as those of the Proctor Stafford collection at The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, are regarded as the aesthetic equals of art produced in ancient Asia and Europe.
Among the highlights of the current exhibit is a Xochipala baby (1150 B.C. to 550 B.C.). This sculpture, one of the most superb examples of naturalistically modeled sculpture produced in the ancient Americas, depicts a baby making tentative efforts to stand, perhaps for the first time. Also remarkable, is a Veracruz figure of a priest (450-650 A.D.). Of youthful form with strong legs, the figure is clothed in ceremonial attire, and adorned with belts of tubular shells. The expression on his face appears trance-like, with large recessed eyes.
Among the many pleasures of looking at these sculptures is the freedom, direct and spontaneous, with which these works were made. Also interesting are the variety of figural distortions, so different from Greco-Roman proportion. In addition to being compelling works of art, these sculptures give us an unintended glimpse into ancient cultures.
The gallery wishes to thank the private collectors who made this exhibition possible. Most notably, Ron Normandeau of Anthropos Fine Art.
Please visit our website to see photographs of works included in the exhibition.