Casas Grandes and the Ceramic Art of the Ancient Southwest

Casas Grandes and the Ceramic Art of the Ancient Southwest

Book - 2005
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Yale University
A fascinating exploration of the rich artistic heritage and beauty of Casas Grandes ceramics


In the flourishing ancient Indian communities of the American Southwest and northwest Mexico, master potters created ceramic arts that are considered among the most accomplished in the world. The symbolic imagery and distinctive local styles of the region are unmistakablesimple volumetric shapes covered with complex, interlocking geometrical designs that are sometimes combined with bold abstract animal, human, and composite figures. Within this shared tradition are clearly identifiable local styles and symbolic vocabularies, and this lavishly illustrated book focuses on one of them: the ceramic works of the Casas Grandes-Paquimé area of northwest Mexico and adjoining parts of New Mexico and Arizona, c. A.D. 12001400.

For the first time on a comprehensive scale, expert art historians and an artist-teacher discuss the complex imagery of approximately ninety Casas Grandes vessels with fifty pieces representing other major styles of the Greater Southwest. Superb examples show polychromatic designs of real and mythological animals, together with abstract human figures and remarkably varied geometries, demonstrating the imaginative complexity and exceptional achievement of the Casas Grandes potters. Certain motifs reflect affinities with distant Mesoamerica, yet the authors show that these forms were absorbed into a visual vocabulary that reflected the unique artistic and cosmological outlook of Casas Grandes, within the native Southwestern cultural tradition.



Book News
Published in conjunction with an exhibition held at the Art Institute of Chicago in 2006, this volume has relevance beyond the exhibition for its in-depth treatment of this somewhat neglected field of ceramics, with three lengthy essays included. The first, by Townsend (curator of African and Amerindian art at the Art Institute), describes the civilization, archaeology, and art of the communities that produced the Casa Grandes pottery in what is now northwest Mexico, New Mexico, and Arizona. Barbara Moulard (art history, Arizona State U.) discusses the pottery's style and painted motifs, and Ken Kokrda provides a fascinating essay on the ceramics' production and context within the lives of the people who produced it. The volume, which is oversize (10.25x11.25"), is beautifully illustrated with photos of these and related ceramics in full-page color plates of superb quality. Co- published and distributed by Yale U. Press. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Blackwell North Amer
This illustrated catalogue focuses on the ceramic works of the Casas Grandes region of northwest Mexico, which flourished at the ancient site of Paquime, around A.D. 1280-1450.
In the accompanying essays, expert art historians and an artist-teacher discuss the complex imagery of approximately 80 Casas Grandes vessels with 60 pieces representing other major styles of the Greater Southwest. Superb examples show polychromatic designs of real and mythological animals, together with abstract human figures and remarkably varied geometries, demonstrating the imaginative complexity and exceptional achievement of the Casas Grandes potters. Certain motifs reflect affinities with distant Mesoamerica, yet the authors show that these forms were absorbed into a visual vocabulary that reflected the unique artistic and cosmological outlook of Casas Grandes, within the native Southwestern cultural tradition.

Publisher: Chicago : Art Institute of Chicago ; New Haven, Conn. ; London : Yale University Press, 2005
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780300111484
0300111487
9780865592209
0865592209
Characteristics: 208 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 29 cm

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