Pre-Columbian Art and the Post-Columbian World

Pre-Columbian Art and the Post-Columbian World

Ancient American Sources of Modern Art

Book - 1993
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Baker & Taylor
Examines the influence of the arts of the Olmec, Maya, Inca, Aztec, and Moche tribes of South America on five modern artists

Blackwell North Amer
While much attention has been given to the connection between modern art and primitive African forms, the impact of ancient American sources on the work of modern artists has been left largely unexplored. For example, Henry Moore's Reclining Figure, in a dozen variations, adorns museum galleries, corporate headquarters, and public malls around the world, yet how many people are aware that its acknowledged source is the Toltec-Maya chacmool, a Mesoamerican temple guardian and repository of sacrificial offerings? Or that Frank Lloyd Wright, America's premier modern architect, learned as much about structural design and ornamentation from a close study of Maya temples and Mixtec palaces as he did from Japanese structures?
Author Barbara Braun explores these connections and more in this fascinating, in-depth study of five seminal modern artists and the Pre-Columbian forms that provided inspiration for their work. In addition to the Moore and Wright comparisons, Braun examines the ceramics of Paul Gauguin and their debt to ancient Peruvian plastic and pictorial formulas; the revolutionary murals of Diego Rivera and their ideological and visual relation to Aztec imagery; as well as the Constructivist paintings of Joaquin Torres-Garcia and their connection to ancient Peruvian textiles, ceramics, and architecture. Braun begins her discussion with a summary of the introduction and reception of Pre-Columbian images and artifacts in Europe and the United States from the sixteenth century forward, and she closes with a look at how the work of more recent artists, such as Color Field painter Alfred Jensen, Minimalist sculptor Tony Smith, earth artist Robert Smithson, and ceramists Kenneth Price and David Gilhooly, continues to be indebted to ancient American forms and ideas.
Visual confirmation of these connections is given in more than 300 striking illustrations, 97 of them in color. An illustrated time chart and historical map provide the reader with easy reference points for the various ancient cultures of Mesoamerica and South America covered in the text. A bibliography and an index round out this thoughtful, intriguing volume.

Publisher: New York : Harry N. Abrams, 1993
ISBN: 9780810937239
Branch Call Number: 709.04 BRAUN
Characteristics: 339 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 31 cm


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