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David M. Jones and Jaime Litvak King

Pre-Columbian site in western Morelos, Mexico, c. 40 km south-west of Cuernavaca. The site and region were occupied continuously from c. 900 bc, but are known especially for the Late-Classic-period (c. ad 600–c. 900) occupation, when an urban and ceremonial centre with monumental architecture was built around and on the artificially terraced hills known as Cerro Xochicalco and Cerro la Malinche and on the adjacent hills and plains.

The archaeological zone was first mentioned by Fray Bernardino de Sahagún in the 16th century. The Jesuit Antonio Alzate visited the site in 1777, conducted some primitive excavations on the Pyramid of the Feathered Serpent and wrote a report in 1791. The Jesuit Pedro Marquez also visited the site, and his report was used by Alexander von Humboldt to describe the site and publish some illustrations of it in 1810. In 1877 Antonio Peñafiel made a study of the monumental architecture then known. Excavations were conducted by ...

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Kathryn Greenthal and Marcus Whiffen

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Paul Apodaca, Mick Gidley, Deborah A. Middleton, G. Lola Worthington, Margaret Moore Booker, Andrea Laforet, Joanne Danford-Cordingly, J. Garth Taylor, Kate C. Duncan, Marvin Cohodas, Andrew Hunter Whiteford, Christian F. Feest, Edwin L. Wade, Paula A. Baxter, Carol Herselle Krinsky, Aldona Jonaitis and Mary E. Graham

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Deborah A. Middleton and Mick Gidley

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Paul Apodaca, Mick Gidley, Deborah A. Middleton, G. Lola Worthington, Margaret Moore Booker, Andrea Laforet, Joanne Danford-Cordingly, J. Garth Taylor, Kate C. Duncan, Marvin Cohodas, Andrew Hunter Whiteford, Christian F. Feest, Edwin L. Wade, Paula A. Baxter, Carol Herselle Krinsky, Aldona Jonaitis and Mary E. Graham

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G. Lola Worthington and Mick Gidley

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Yagul  

John Paddock and Trent Barnes

Site in Mexico, in the Valley of Oaxaca, inhabited as early as c. 400 bc; an extremely compact small city flourished there in the Late Post-Classic period (c. ad 700–1521). Its present name derives from the Zapotec terms for tree (yaga) and old (gula). Its centre occupies a large natural terrace on the south side of a high hill; the top was fortified, and houses covered the slopes. Since no modern community covers the Yagul remains, its temples, palace, secular public buildings, ballcourt, and streets are clearly visible.

Around 400 bc ceramic sculptures with Olmec traits were placed in burials at Yagul (Oaxaca, Mus. Reg.). The site was nearly uninhabited until c. ad 700. When nearby Lambityeco was abandoned c. ad 700, its inhabitants apparently moved to Yagul, where they undertook the first major constructions at the site. However, the preservation of later buildings has left their work covered over. After ...

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Patricia Masse

(b Chicago, Sept 6, 1925; d Mexico City, May 2, 2002).

Mexican photographer, printmaker, and writer of American birth. After studying humanities in Chicago, in 1944 she emigrated to Mexico. From 1945 to 1958 she worked as an engraver in the Taller de Gráfica Popular with Leopoldo Méndez. She was a founder-member in 1951 of the Salón de la Plástica Mexicana. As a photographer Yampolsky studied under Lola Álvarez Bravo at the Academia de San Carlos Mexico City. Álvarez Bravo’s influence can be seen in Yampolsky’s photographs of rural Mexico, in particular vernacular architecture and harmonious depictions of sites used for either daily or ceremonial functions. She also photographed Indian or mestizo peasants engaged in domestic activities and celebrations, and she published educational and art books.

La casa que canta: Arquitectura popular mexicana. Mexico City, 1982.Estancias del olvido. Mexico City, 1987.La raíz y el camino. Mexico City, 1988.Mazahua. Toluca, 1993.Haciendo Poblanas, text by R. Rendón Garcini...

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(b Mexico City, Jun 17, 1908; d Mexico City, Nov 24, 1990).

Mexican architect, writer, and theorist. He was a member of the Escuela Mexicana de Arquitectura, a group that from 1925 onwards sought to create an architecture that simultaneously expressed nationalism and modernity. Within this group, which was led by José Villagrán García, Yañez, with Juan O’Gorman and Juan Legorreta, represented the socialist tendency. In 1938, with Alberto T. Arai, Enrique Guerrero, Raúl Cacho, Carlos Leduc, and Ricardo Rivas, Yañez formed the Unión de Arquitectos Socialistas, which had a significant influence on Mexican architecture. Their approach was characterized by an emphasis on the utilitarian and social aspects of architecture, for example the reduction of spaces to a bare minimum, and by a rejection of “bourgeois” aesthetics. Nevertheless, Yañez’s own house (1935) and the Sindicato Mexicano de Electricistas Building (1938) have a certain rhythmic plasticity, albeit rationalist and sparse. Later, still in the context of developing a “nationalist functionalism,” Yañez became one of the foremost designers of hospitals in Mexico. He won the competition for the construction of the Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social’s first hospital and designed the most important hospital complex in Mexico, the Centro Médico Nacional (...

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Carolyn Tate

Ancient Maya city in the modern state of Chiapas, Mexico, which flourished as an important lowland capital c. 300–810 CE. Yaxchilan occupies the hills and riverbank overlooking a great bend in the Usumacinta River. Its eighteen or nineteen rulers perpetuated a 400-year-long rivalry with Piedras Negras, about 48 km downstream, for control of the subsidiary centers and sacred caves of the region. Yaxchilan’s approximately 130 carved monuments include stelae, lintels, altar-pedestals, thrones, circular ballcourt markers, and five grand hieroglyphic stairways. Their texts and images present the broadest range of ritual activities seen at any Maya site. In addition to the variety of sculptural formats and subjects, some of the monuments of Yaxchilan are widely considered to be among the most skillfully designed and carved of Maya art works. And as at many Pre-Columbian centers, its designers created alignments to solar phenomena as they planned specific buildings.

The site became well known following the explorations of ...

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Jorge Luján-Muñoz

(b Guatemala City, Sept 18, 1888; d Guatemala City, Apr 17, 1942).

Guatemalan sculptor. He was first trained by his father, Baldomero Yela Montenegro (1859–1909), who was a sculptor and marble-carver. While still very young he worked with the Venezuelan sculptor Santiago González, a former student of Auguste Rodin, then resident in Guatemala, and with the Italian Antonio Doninelli, who ran a bronze foundry workshop. He was also extremely friendly with the Guatemalan painters Carlos Mérida and Carlos Valenti (1884–1912), and with the Spanish Catalan painter and sculptor Jaime Sabartés (1881–1968), who later became Picasso’s secretary. His first important sculptures, both in Guatemala City, were monuments to J. F. Barrundia (1905–1906) in the General Cemetery and to Isabel La Católica (1915).

Around 1921 Yela Günther went to Mexico, where he came into contact with the anthropologist Manuel Gamio, who directed his attention towards Maya and Aztec art. He also had the encouragement of Diego Rivera, who wrote enthusiastically of his work in ...

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(b Santiago, 1931).

Chilean painter and ceramist. A self-taught painter, in the 1950s and 1960s he based his landscape motifs and colors on the Andes, using very simple forms suggestive of Pre-Columbian textiles in their flat, abstract designs and balanced chromatic effects. It was a question of subjecting archetypal shapes to a subtle and rational play of color. While remaining committed to a careful technique in both his oil paintings and pastels, Yrarrázaval fundamentally changed direction in 1973, when he began to represent isolated and suspended figures undergoing gradual deterioration: faceless and with their bodies swollen as if by internal pressure, they appear to have lost their identity, leaving behind only realistically painted shirts, collars, and ties. The suggestion is of a collective anonymity, an identity crisis embodied in purely external human gestures revealed through social rituals and through the status and prestige accorded to dress and fashion. Yrarrázaval continued in these works to emphasize the material quality of his paintings and the strong three-dimensional illusion of his forms, relying exclusively on the palette knife to reveal or conceal forms by a meticulous modeling of light and shade....

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Nelly Perazzo

(b Buenos Aires, Dec 6, 1879; d Buenos Aires, March 4, 1950).

Argentine sculptor. He enrolled at the Escuela de la Sociedad Estímulo de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires, in 1898 and soon afterwards joined the studio of the sculptor Lucio Correa Morales (1852–1923). In 1899 he won a scholarship to study in Europe. In Paris he attended the studio of the sculptor Jules-Félix Coutan, at the same time studying drawing at the Académie Colarossi; he made studies of corpses in the morgue and acquired a great mastery of human anatomy. At the Salon in Paris in 1903 he exhibited The Sinners (see Prins), a major group of six female figures, influenced by Rodin’s Burghers of Calais in its rhythmic arabesques, open treatment of line and soft modelling. In 1904 it was shown again at the World’s Fair in St Louis, MO, where it was awarded a major prize, but he renounced both the prize and associated commission because of a controversy about his youth....

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Constantino Reyes-Valerio and Liliana Herrera

Term used to designate the architecture characteristic of the Yucatán peninsula in south-east Mexico, particularly the religious architecture of the 16th century. A number of factors militated against Spanish settlement in Yucatán in the early 16th century, notably the intense heat, difficulties in irrigating the area, the lack of precious metals, and the sparseness of the Indian population, which was mostly Maya. Consequently, the peninsula’s social and economic development was very different from that of the more densely populated central plateau, and this was reflected in its architecture, which was of a simpler and more austere character.

Despite the obstacles to settlement, Franciscan missionaries arrived in the Yucatán peninsula in the 1530s and 1540s and began to construct simple buildings to house the monks. In order to accommodate the large congregations of Indians, however, and to protect them from the sun, they built ramadas, or large shelters, in the monastery compounds. These were supported by tree trunks, with roofs made from branches, and they had no side walls, thereby allowing the free passage of air. Services were conducted from a small, open-fronted stone chapel or chancel, which was built facing the ...

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Louise Noelle

(b Bialystok, June 14, 1924).

Mexican architect of Polish birth. He studied at the Escuela de Arquitectura at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, graduating in 1949. In his early years he produced a large number of outstanding residential buildings and offices in Mexico City, making rigorous use of the International style and demonstrating an impeccable handling of contemporary design, techniques and materials. Also notable from this period was the Centro Cívico Cinco de Mayo (1962), Puebla, on which he collaborated with Guillermo Rossel. In 1968 Zabludovsky began working in collaboration with Teodoro González de León, although the two architects continued to work on some projects individually and retained their separate stylistic identities. Their collaborative work was remarkable for its quality and maturity, establishing functional and formal solutions that were later widely imitated. Clear examples of their characteristic proposals for constructions of massive, linear volume are the Delegación Cuauhtémoc (1972–3; with Jaime Ortiz Monasterio (...

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Clara Bargellini

City in Mexico. Capital of the state of the same name in the central highlands of Mexico, it is c. 250 km north-east of Guadalajara and has a population of c. 150,000. The city was established in 1546 and became the most important silver-mining centre of colonial Mexico. The uneven terrain (it is situated in a ravine) and its initial quick growth resulted in an irregular but picturesque plan. Conservation efforts have preserved the city’s colonial scale and many colonial buildings in the local reddish limestone. A late 18th-century chapel dedicated to the Virgin crowns the Cerro de la Bufa, the hill that dominates the city. The cathedral was constructed as the parish church of La Asunción (begun 1612; completed 1752), integrating parts of the chapels of the Miraculous Crucified Christ and of the Virgin to produce a spacious three-aisled church; the architect was probably Miguel Sánchez Pacheco and, at the end, ...

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Monica E. Kupfer

(Augusto )

(b Panama City, Feb 5, 1930).

Panamanian printmaker and painter, active in Spain. He studied under Juan Manuel Cedeño at the Escuela Nacional de Pintura in Panama City and from 1953 to 1959 at the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. In 1961 he moved to Madrid, where he began his important work at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando. Zachrisson’s etchings, drypoints, lithographs and woodcuts tell stories, mock tradition and criticize society, encompassing subjects as varied as the circus and the myth of Icarus. In works such as the Death of Chimbombó (1963; New York, MOMA) he depicts life with humour and satire in a cruel and even tragic vision. His fantastic world is peopled by an entourage of monsters, witches and grotesque figures drawn from Panamanian urban folklore, Spanish literature, classical mythology and personal experiences. Zachrisson’s paintings, produced since the 1970s, tend to be less detailed than his etchings but are equally biting in their use of irony, secual explicitness and references to his Panamanian background. Formally, his paintings emphasize colour and design over volume, with flat intense hues, hard edges and nearly invisible brushstrokes, as in ...