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Linda Mowat

Artefacts of more or less rigid construction produced by the interlacing of linear materials. Basketwork is of considerable antiquity (dating from at least 8000 bc in Egypt and Peru) and in one form or other has been practised almost everywhere in the world.

Basketry materials vary according to the environment of the basketmaker: the wood, bark, roots, shoots, stems, leaves and fibre of hundreds of trees and plants can be used. With few exceptions, these materials take time to find, select, gather and prepare. Many require pounding, stripping, splitting, gauging, drying, dyeing, bleaching or soaking before they can be used. The acquisition and preparation of materials often takes longer than the actual making of the basket.

Many of the baskets of northern and western Europe are made from rods of osier or basket willow. In North America splint baskets are made from split ash, oak, maple and hickory in the east; ...



Gordon Campbell

Green variety of Beryl, mined in Upper Egypt and India from antiquity and in Colombia both before and after the Spanish Conquest. Nero is said to have watched gladiatorial contests through an emerald. The two best-known emeralds are the Devonshire Emerald (London, Nat. Hist. Mus.) and the Patricia Emerald (New York, Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist.). The most famous historical emeralds are the 453 emeralds (totalling ...


Sarah Urist Green

revised by Julia Detchon

(b Santiago, Chile, Feb 5, 1956).

Chilean architect, public interventionist, installation artist, photographer, and filmmaker, active in the USA. He first studied architecture at the Universidad de Chile in Santiago, then filmmaking at the Instituto Chileno-Norteamericano de Cultura, Santiago, concluding in 1981. Throughout his career, Jaar’s works have taken many forms in order to address global themes of injustice and illuminate structures of power. In over fifty projects he termed “public interventions,” Jaar conducted extensive research around the world to create site-specific works that reflect political and social realities near and far from his sites of exhibition. He created works—in gallery spaces and in public, often engaging spectator involvement—that present images critically and confront the social and political interests they serve.

Jaar’s first public intervention was Studies on Happiness (1979–1981), a three-year series of performances and exhibitions in which he asked the question, “Are you happy?” of people in the streets of Santiago. Inspired by ...


Veerle Poupeye

[Wilkins, Ricardo]

(b Kingston, Dec 1943).

Jamaican painter and teacher. He studied at the Jamaica School of Art, Kingston, and the Royal College of Art, London, and started exhibiting in the 1960s. In the early 1970s he lectured at Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda. He headed the painting department at the Jamaica School of Art from 1973 to 1981, subsequently moving to Boston, MA, where he lectured at the Massachusetts College of Art. His work showed an emotional and spiritual response to his experience as a black man in a postcolonial New World environment and his allegiance to Africa as his ancestral homeland. Most of his paintings and works on paper are abstract or semi-abstract with a strong emphasis on color, pattern, and rhythm, for example Untitled (Apartheid) (1978; Kingston, N.G.). They represent a synthesis of North American Abstract Expressionism and the artist’s African American cultural and philosophical heritage. His paintings have a spontaneous, discordant, and moody quality reminiscent of jazz music, another New World art form....


Richard F. Townsend

Site of a 16th-century rock-cut Aztec temple, c. 60 km south-east of Mexico City. The temple at Malinalco is an example of a widespread type of ritual building described in 16th-century ethno-historical texts and associated with the cult of the earth. Its monolithic inner chamber is the only excavated example to have survived intact. The temple forms part of a ritual and administrative centre built at the hilltop Matlazinca town of Malinalco after it had been incorporated into the Aztec empire. The buildings were begun in 1501, under the Aztec ruler Ahuizotl (reg 1486–1502), as extensions of the symbolic architectural system developed in Tenochtitlán; they are compactly arranged along an artificial terrace partly carved from the steeply sloping mountainside. The façade comprises two sections. Sculptured guardian figures flank the foot of a flight of 13 steps ascending the lower platform. Similar figures flank the front of the upper temple chamber; another figure forms part of the centre of the 3rd to 6th steps, in which the most important sculpture is a large relief carving of a serpent-like mask framing the chamber doorway. The carved mask functions as a hieroglyph for ...


Christine Robinson

(b London, Sept 27, 1974).

British photographer of Ghanaian and Dominican descent. Perrier’s work primarily explores portraiture and its historical traditions in Africa. Her photographic projects address her own multicultural identity by questioning themes of diversity, cultural belonging, and identity.

Perrier graduated with a BA from the Surrey Institute of Art and Design in Farnham in 1996. That same year she travelled with her mother to Ghana for the first time and made Ghana, a series of documentary photographs of people, interiors, and details of life both foreign and familiar. In the series she depicted quiet moments such as a small arrangement of photographs and books in an otherwise empty corner of a room, and made individual and group portraits of family members she had just met. Upon her return she completed the series Red, Gold and Green (1995–7): photographs of her extended family members in their London homes. The photographs documented her relatives—all first, second, and third generations from Ghana—seated or standing before the Ghanaian national flag in their own chosen clothing, ranging from sequins to Kente cloth (...



S. Leticia Talavera and P. Mariano Monterrosa

Mexican city in the state and valley of the same name. It is situated on the southwestern slope of La Malinche volcano, 2162 m above sea level, and it lies at the foot of the Loreto and Guadalupe hills by the River Atoyac. It has a population of c. 1 million. Puebla’s colonial architecture is among the most magnificent in Mexico. The city’s textile industry is also of national significance: the rebozos (Sp.: “stoles”) and serapes produced there are famous. Among its regional industries are the famous Tecali alabaster objects and Talavera pottery (see Mexico, §IV). The city was founded in 1530 on a site known as Cuetlacoapa by Toribio de Benavente, better known as Father Motolinia, and was called Puebla de los Angeles. Built to a grid plan, the city developed rapidly, and by the 18th century Puebla was known for the fine quality of its flour, produced by hundreds of mills along the Atoyac, which was exported to the Antilles and Central America. In the 19th century ...


Peter W. Stahl

Pre-Columbian ceremonial site in the Chanduy Valley, Ecuador, that flourished c. 3500–1600 bce. It occupies a low ridge adjacent to the Río Verde drainage, c. 3 km inland from the Pacific coast; it covers an area of c. 12.4 ha, and it is dominated by two parallel ridges of accumulated midden deposits, oriented north–south and encompassing a low central plaza. This early appearance of ceremonial architecture, with its related settlement and subsistence features, has raised a number of important issues concerning the nature and complexity of this period in Pre-Columbian Ecuador. The site was discovered by Jorge G. Marcos in 1971 and excavated 1974–1975 by the University of Illinois Real Alto Project, and subsequently by the Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral, Guayaquil.

Towards the center of the ridges two low mounds supporting ceremonial structures and quantities of refuse oppose each other. These mounds extend out into the plaza, dividing it into inner and outer precincts. The ...


Noémie Goldman and Kim Oosterlinck

Term for the return of lost or looted cultural objects to their country of origin, former owners, or their heirs. The loss of the object may happen in a variety of contexts (armed conflicts, war, colonialism, imperialism, or genocide), and the nature of the looted cultural objects may also vary, ranging from artworks, such as paintings and sculptures, to human remains, books, manuscripts, and religious artefacts. An essential part of the process of restitution is the seemingly unavoidable conflict around the transfer of the objects in question from the current to the former owners. Ownership disputes of this nature raise legal, ethical, and diplomatic issues. The heightened tensions in the process arise because the looting of cultural objects challenges, if not breaks down, relationships between peoples, territories, cultures, and heritages.

The history of plundering and art imperialism may be traced back to ancient times. Looting has been documented in many instances from the sack by the Romans of the Etruscan city of Veii in ...


Nelly Perazzo

(b Buenos Aires, Jul 18, 1943).

Argentine sculptor. She studied painting under Horacio Butler and sculpture under the Argentine sculptor Leo Vinci. She traveled to Africa, where she became closely involved with sculpture workshops in Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and among the Dogon people in Mali, and to India, where she visited the workshop at Mahabalipuram. Using thin metal wires to define form and creating an animated dialogue from the contrast between positive and negative spaces, she created sculptures suspended in the air, fixed to a wall, or placed upright without base, in each case combining a directness of method with conceptual complexity. In spite of the severe limitations of her chosen material, which enabled her to create apparently weightless sculptures with subtle outlines, the very rigor imposed by the wire allowed her to give free rein to fantasy and gracefulness without falling into mere decorativeness.

Rybak constantly explored new ideas, adding to her initial repertory of themes of maternity and human couples works based on mythical forms rooted in the unconscious and others concerning the individual’s integration in society, as in ...



Richard Lunniss

Pre-Columbian site in Manabí Province on the central coast of Ecuador, centered at the southern end of a sandy bay, sheltered by a headland and Salango Island. It had several phases of occupation, paralleled on nearby La Plata Island.

An early Valdivia culture settlement, indicated by ceramics, stone artifacts, and animal remains and dated by radiocarbon analysis to the 4th or late 3rd millennium bce, lay between the beach and a lagoon. Extending over the area of the lagoon was a Machalilla-phase midden containing a high density of fish bone and shell, and many mother-of-pearl fish-hooks. Thirty-eight individuals were found in graves cut through the midden, for which radiocarbon analysis has given dates in the second half of the 2nd millennium bce. Attributes of the Chorrera culture and Engoroy style are found in ceramics associated with a rectangular wooden structure built over a clay floor capping part of the Machalilla midden. The formal design of its construction and the more elaborate nature of the associated burials and depositions of artifacts suggest a ritual or ceremonial purpose. The dismantling of this building was immediately followed by the construction of the first of several low rectangular platforms surmounted by wooden structures. Later mounds were surrounded by clay-filled trenches supporting posts. Pottery of the Engoroy type, dated by radiocarbon analysis to the first half of the 1st millennium ...


José Pedro Barrán, Cheryl Jiménez Frei, Renzo Pi Hugarte, Angel Kalenberg, Christopher Hartop, and Alicia Haber

[Republica Oriental del Uruguay]

South American country. It is on the east coast of the continent, bounded to the south and east by the estuary of the Río de la Plata (River Plate) and the south Atlantic, to the west by the River Uruguay and Argentina and to the north by Brazil. With an area of c. 187,000 sq. km, Uruguay is one of the smallest countries in South America, and 87% of its population is urban, over one third living in the capital city, Montevideo, a port situated on the Río de la Plata (see fig.). Through this river and its tributaries, the Uruguay and Paraná rivers, Uruguay is at the entrance to a vast navigable river system, and Montevideo is one of the ports of entry to Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, and the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. Physically, the country consists of undulating grass plains on granite, with chains of low hills. The climate is temperate and humid; agriculture and dairy production dominate in the south, but stock-rearing occupies much of the land in the north and center. Uruguay was colonized by Spain after ...


Carlos Lastarria Hermosilla

(b Santiago, Sept 9, 1931; d Santiago, May 18, 1993).

Chilean sculptor. He studied at the Escuela de Bellas Artes in Santiago under the Chilean sculptors Julio Antonio Vásquez (b 1900), Lily Garáfulic (1914–2012), and Marta Colvin. He left Chile in 1958 for Spain, France, and Morocco, settling in Spain in 1961 but returning to Chile in 1974 to produce a number of works, including an important commission for the Parque de las Esculturas in Santiago (Bandaged Torso; stone, h. 1.62 m, installed 1989), before leaving again for Spain.

Valdivieso worked in bronze and in stone (granite, limestone, diorite, and basalt). Much of his work was concerned with natural forms, conveyed with a directness of feeling. Approaching mass through a process of gradual abstraction, Valdivieso sought a balance between the visual and tactile qualities of his materials and the meanings implicit to their forms. He often formulated his sculptures first in easily molded, ductile materials, which he then translated into the final work. He particularly favored chrome-plated bronze for its accentuation of the surface with its brilliant finish....