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Article

Bahía  

Jorge G. Marcos

Pre-Columbian regional culture of coastal Ecuador that flourished c. 500 bcc. ad 500. Archaeological field research by Emilio Estrada and Matthew and Marion Stirling at Manta, Manabí, identified a platform-mounded Bahía urban and ceremonial centre. Since no extensive excavation of the area was conducted, the only evidence for Bahía houses is a number of terracotta models, similar in form to examples from China; some archaeologists, such as Meggers, consider them as evidence of transpacific influence. Excavation of a few test pits produced a relative ceramic sequence and some radiocarbon assays. In the Guayas Basin, to the south, Bahía-like Tejar and Guayaquil phases have been described by Meggers and Parducci. Bahía pottery appears to have evolved from the earlier Chorrera style developed by intensive farming communities in the rich alluvial valleys of central Manabí and the Guayas Basin. Bahía potters practised a highly developed craft, having mastered not only traditional coiled construction but also slip-casting, a technique introduced during the Chorrera period. They were proficient in controlled smudging and resist decoration, and excelled in the use of polychrome slips, employing a wide spectrum of mineral and organic pigments. Another characteristic was decoration encrusted after firing in brilliant yellows, reds, greens and blues. Flutes, ocarinas and flamboyantly decorated whistling bottles with spouts and strap handles imitated human and animal forms. At ...

Article

Giulio V. Blanc

(b Havana, Sept 3, 1914; d Westchester, Oct 30, 2008).

Cuban painter, ceramicist and printmaker. He studied at the Academia de S Alejandro in Havana (early 1930s) and at the Academia de S Carlos in Mexico City (1938), where he also became familiar with the work of the muralists. He had his first one-man exhibition at the Lyceum in Havana in 1942.

Bermúdez shared with many of his contemporaries an interest in Cuban realities and themes painted in a manner that was in keeping with 20th-century art movements. His work from the 1940s is characterized by popular Cuban scenes and types depicted in an almost caricatural, naive style with loud tropical colours (e.g. The Balcony, 1941; New York, MOMA).

In the 1950s Bermúdez abandoned the folkloric themes and tropical voluptuousness of his earlier paintings, instead depicting elongated, barely human, Byzantine-like figures. The most accessible of these paintings are of acrobats and musicians. In 1967 Bermúdez left Cuba for political reasons and settled in San Juan, Puerto Rico. There he continued to evolve metallic colour harmonies and surrealistic imagery including clocks, ladders and turbaned figures in his paintings. He also produced murals and lithographs, and his best-known print is the silkscreen entitled ...

Article

Boccaro  

Gordon Campbell

[bucaro; búcaro; buccaro]

Scented red earthenware brought originally by the Portuguese from Mexico; the word derives from Portuguese búcaro (clay cup). The term also denotes similar earthenware made in Portugal and Spain (especially Talavera) from the 16th to the 18th centuries, and the imitation made by Johann Friedrich Böttger at Meissen; the name is also applied to the red Chinese stoneware made in Yixing.

M. C. García Sáiz and J. L. Barrio Moya: ‘Presencia de cerámica colonial mexicana en España’, An. Inst. Invest. Estét., vol.58 (1987), pp. 108–10 M. C. García Sáiz and M. Ángeles Albert: ‘La cerámica de Tonalá en las colecciones Europeas’, Tonalá: Sol de barro, ed. S. Urutia and J. de la Fuente (Mexico City, 1991) J. C. Castro and M. C. McQuade: Talavera Poblana: Four Centuries of a Mexican Ceramic Tradition (Albuquerque, NM, 2000) B. Hamann: ‘The Mirrors of Las Meninas: Cochineal, Silver, and Clay’, A. Bull., vol.92 (March–June 2010), pp. 6–35...

Article

Ellen Paul Denker

American porcelain manufacturer. Gousse Bonnin (b ?Antigua, c. 1741; d c. 1779) moved in 1768 from England to Philadelphia, where he established the first porcelain factory in America with money from an inheritance and with investments from George Morris (1742/5–73). The land was purchased late in 1769 and in January 1770 the first notice regarding the enterprise was published. The first blue-decorated bone china wares were not produced until late in 1770. Newspaper advertisements noted ‘three kilns, two furnaces, two mills, two clay vaults, cisterns, engines and treading rooms’ and listed such wares as pickle stands, fruit baskets, sauce boats, pint bowls, plates, plain and handled cups, quilted cups, sugar dishes in two sizes, cream jugs, teapots in two sizes, and breakfast sets. Well-established foreign competition, however, was too formidable for the new business, which had to charge high prices to meet large expenses; production ceased by ...

Article

Roberto Pontual

(b Recife, June 11, 1927).

Brazilian painter and ceramicist. He made an extended visit to Europe from 1949 to 1952, living mainly in Paris, where he studied with André Lhote and Fernand Léger, whose tumescent forms had a lasting influence on his work. On his return to Recife, where his family had long been responsible for a vast output of industrial ceramics, he dedicated himself increasingly to his work with art pottery. He carried out ceramic murals in several Brazilian cities and abroad, the most outstanding being the Battle of the Guararapes (completed 1962; Recife, façade of the Banco Bandeirantes do Comércio), commemorating the war between the Portuguese and the Dutch in Brazil in the 17th century. For both his ceramics and his painting he drew inspiration mainly from popular art, blurring the distinction between the real and the imaginary, seeking an epic quality in simple acts of heroism and reinventing nature in fantastic flora and fauna. In later years he created monumental ceramic works in which eroticism is linked to powerful primitive forces. He transformed his studio–factory in Recife into a museum of his work but still used it as a studio....

Article

Chancay  

Jane Feltham

Pre-Columbian culture of South America. It centred on the Chancay Valley of the central Peruvian coast, ranging north and south to the Fortaleza and Lurín valleys, and is known for its distinctive pottery and textile styles. Chancay culture flourished between c. ad 1100 and 1470, under Chimú rulership in the 15th century. Vessels and textiles have been found at such sites as Cerro Trinidad, Lauri and Pisquillo, mostly in graves covered with stout timbers and a layer of earth.

Chancay vessels were made by coiling; modelled features sometimes occur, but elaborate jars were moulded. The fabric, fired to a light orange, is thin and porous. Some vessels are covered with a plain white slip, but most are also painted with brownish-black designs. Forms include bowls, goblets, tumblers, cylindrical jars and ovoid jars with rounded bases and narrow, bulging necks that sometimes end in a flaring rim. Vessel heights range from 60 mm for bowls to 750 mm for jars. Animals (especially birds and reptiles) and humans are frequently modelled on the upper shoulder or around a handle. More elaborate jars are zoomorphic or consist of two flasks connected by a bridge. Some show scenes, such as a dignitary being carried on a litter. Vertical black bands often divide design areas, within which are patterns of stripes, wavy lines, crosshatching, diamonds, triangles and dots, chequers, volutes and stylized birds or fishes, sometimes in assymetrical halves. Characteristic of the style are large, necked jars with faces (known as ...

Article

Peter W. Stahl

Pre-Columbian culture, named after the site of La Chorrera on the River Babahoyo, in the Guayas Basin, Ecuador. It flourished between c. 1000 and c. 500 bc, during Ecuador’s Late Formative period (c. 1500 bcc. 500 bc). The terms ‘Chorrera’ and ‘Chorreroid series’ encompass a number of diverse but related cultures of the Guayas coast, ranging northwards from the province of El Oro to the northern area of the province of Manabí and reaching inland to the banks of the Daule and Babahoyo rivers.

The Chorrera style shows particular affinity to the earliest stages of the art of the Engoroy phase (c. 900–c. 500 bc). La Chorrera itself was discovered by F. Huerta Rendón, and later work was carried out by Emilio Estrada, Clifford Evans, and Betty Meggers.

The culture represents the apogee of the early art styles of Ecuador, having a wide geographical distribution and serving as a basic foundation for subsequent developments. During the Late Formative period, the use of metal was introduced, along with the manufacture of earrings and new types of figurines, figure modelling, red and white zoned ceramics, and negative-painted wares. The ...

Article

George Bankes

Pre-Columbian culture and art style of South America. It was centred on a small, dry valley c. 50 km north of the Chicama Valley, Peru. Various sites were located and excavated in the 1930s by Rafael Larco Hoyle. Ceramics from Cupisnique burials and stone-walled structures in the Chicama Valley were attributed to the north-coast version of the Chavín style in the Central Andean area. Lumbreras suggested that Cupisnique ceramics were contemporaneous with the ‘Ofrendas’ style of Chavín and therefore dated between c. 800 and c. 300 bc. Cupisnique pottery has also been found in the Moche and Nepeña valleys south of Chicama. The earliest date for the Cupisnique culture has been pushed back to c. 1000 bc using radiocarbon measurements from such temples as the Huaca de Los Reyes in Moche with its enormous unbaked clay feline heads. Both Larco and A. R. Sawyer proposed chronologies for Cupisnique ceramics. Sawyer defined Early Cupisnique pottery (...

Article

W. Iain Mackay

(b Lima, 1926).

Peruvian painter, printmaker and ceramicist, active in Europe. He studied at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes in Lima until 1953 and then began to exhibit paintings, prints, murals and ceramics on an annual basis in Lima. He continued his studies in Spain in 1956, and from then on remained in Europe, mainly in Paris and Madrid. In Paris he became an assistant at the printmakers’ workshop at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts. Following a period in Cuba where he worked at the Taller de Grabado de Cubanacán, Espinoza Dueñas returned to France to study ceramics at Sèvres, executing sculptural, symbolic works reminiscent of Pre-Columbian Peruvian ceramics. His paintings, which are expressionistic in style, are colourful, energetic and full of symbolism (e.g. ...

Article

Karen Cordero Reiman

(b Aguascalientes, May 30, 1900; d Mexico City, Aug 26, 1984).

Mexican painter, printmaker, writer and ceramicist. He enrolled at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes, Mexico City, in 1917 and soon became active in the post-revolutionary nationalist cultural movement, attempting to recuperate folk-art motifs and techniques. In 1920 he designed a ceramic frieze for the Colegio Máximo de San Pedro y San Pablo, Mexico City. He edited the influential art magazine Forma (1926–8) and was involved in creating the Escuela Libre de Escultura y Talla Directa, Mexico City, the ¡30–30! group (which promoted the democratization and de-academization of the arts), and the Centros Populares de Pintura, which offered art education to people in industrial areas, encouraging the representation of their surroundings without academic constraints. In the 1930s he directed an exhibition space funded by the Ministerio de Educación Pública, for which, with Roberto Montenegro and Francisco Díaz de León, he designed posters and catalogues noted for their innovative typography. Fernández Ledesma also produced prints inspired by popular graphics and figurative paintings influenced by Picasso and by Pittura Metafisica; he also wrote several books on popular traditions and stage and costume designs....

Article

George Bankes

Pre-Columbian culture and art style that flourished in northern coastal Peru during the Early Intermediate period, between c. 300 bc and c. ad 200. It was named after the site of Gallinazo (Sp. ‘turkey buzzard’) in the Virú valley, which was excavated by the American archaeologist Wendell Bennett in 1936. The Gallinazo culture has been shown to have succeeded that of Salinar in the Virú, Moche and Chicama valleys. Gallinazo architecture in the Virú valley was characterized by a honeycomb dwelling pattern. Some of the walls of the buildings were decorated with cut-out designs in tapia (puddled clay) and adobe mosaics, such as the frieze at El Carmelo. The Gallinazo culture as represented in the Virú valley was subdivided by Bennett into three phases, on the basis of changes in building methods and pottery styles. Gallinazo i is characterized by incised and punch-decorated pottery with some use of negative-painted decoration, which involved covering the design areas in a heat-resistant substance and then firing it. The substance was removed after firing, leaving the negative design. In Gallinazo ...

Article

Jorge G. Marcos

Pre-Columbian culture of coastal Ecuador, which flourished c. 500 bcc. ad 500. Archaeological research initiated by Geoffrey Bushnell in 1951 has shown that the Guangala people occupied the forest of the Santa Elena Peninsula from the Chongón-Colonche Cordillera to the sea, extending north through the narrow coastal strip of southern Manabí Province. Like their predecessors, who made Engoroy style pottery, the Guangala people were experts at farming dry land, mostly using condensed fog for irrigation, as well as being accomplished sailors. Ceramic wares similar to those of Engoroy and Guangala have been found in Guatemala, suggesting that a long-distance trade network between Ecuador and Mesoamerica already existed at this period. Studies of settlement patterns in the Chanduy Valley show that Guangala people established permanent hamlets in diverse micro-environments, as well as larger sites, which served as centres of economic, religious, and political power, and regional and long-distance trade. Guangala houses were built on a rectangular plan and had wooden frames and wattle-and-daub construction, with ornate baked clay eaves, window, and door frames....

Article

W. Iain Mackay

(b Ica, 1914; d Lima, July 21, 1961).

Peruvian painter, potter and sculptor. He had little formal education, but after training as a boxer in Lima he settled in Buenos Aires, where his interest in pottery led him to set up a workshop for the conservation of Pre-Columbian pottery and for the manufacture of pottery in the style of this period. He learnt to sculpt and studied painting under Emilio Pettoruti (1892–1971). In 1938 he went to Paris, where he studied the work of the French masters and relaxed his style, rejecting academic canons. Returning to Peru in 1942, he adopted a rather Expressionist style of painting, with clear lines, suggestive of sculpted forms. He avoided the other avant-garde European styles of the period, opting for a while for elements of the Indigenist style (see Peru, Republic of, §IV, 2). Under Pettoruti he developed a great interest in sculpture. His activity in this field was limited to a few works, culminating in ...

Article

Ticio Escobar

[Cervera, Andrés Campos ]

(b Asunción, 1888; d Valencia, Spain, 1937).

Paraguayan painter, engraver and ceramicist. He studied at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Madrid, and spent six years studying in Paris in private studios. His first exhibition, in Asunción in 1920, marked a turning-point in the history of Paraguayan art. He showed oil paintings inspired principally by Cézanne and the Fauvists, and the arbitrary colours and heavy impasto of his stylized landscapes introduced local artists to the innovations of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism previously unknown in Paraguay; as a result, other painters began to use them in their work. In his engraving, Herrería used a simplified line based on flat contrasts of colour. From 1922 he began to work in ceramics, developing themes derived from Pre-Columbian Latin-American traditions and scenes of daily rural life in Paraguay. His plates and small sculptures had designs influenced by Art Deco. The series of motifs used in his ceramics show a deep understanding of Paraguayan humour and popular art and give a vivid portrait of everyday life that transcends the merely picturesque....

Article

George Bankes

Pre-Columbian culture of South America that extended throughout several valleys on the south coast of Peru and flourished between c. ad 1000 and 1476. The Ica–Chincha pottery style was first recognized by the German archaeologist Max Uhle, and regional variations have since been defined by archaeologists from the University of California at Berkeley, especially by Dorothy Menzel. The Ica Valley appears to have been the main cultural centre, while the Chincha Valley seems to have had greater political significance. Commerce was important; pottery was clearly held in high esteem, since it has been found at sites on the central coast and inland in the Río Pampas area near Ayacucho, and it seems, moreover, to have formed the principal indicator of cultural cohesion and diversity between the valleys. The main feature of the decorated wares is a polychrome style, usually with a red base overpainted with white and black designs. Motifs are frequently geometric, with many designs taken from textiles, including diamonds, stepped lines and zigzag lines. There are also many depictions of birds and fish that are difficult to see in the maze of angular designs. A characteristic vessel shape is a jar with a rounded base, globular body, narrow neck and flaring rim. Dishes with a flanged rim are also common. As on ...

Article

H. B. Nicholson

Stylistic and iconographic tradition in Mesoamerica during the Post-Classic period (c. 900–1521).

The term was coined in 1938 by the American archaeologist George Vaillant for what he variously defined as a ‘culture’, ‘civilization’ or ‘culture complex’ that developed after the Teotihuacán collapse in the region of the modern Mexican state of Puebla and the western portion of Oaxaca, an area known as the Mixteca (from the predominant indigenous language of the region). He hypothesized that Mixteca–Puebla diffused into the Basin of Mexico during what he termed the ‘Chichimec’ period, providing ‘the source and inspiration of Aztec civilization’. He believed that aspects of the complex spread widely throughout Mesoamerica during its final major era, the Post-Classic, which he suggested should be labelled the ‘Mixteca–Puebla period’.

Although Vaillant never defined his concept with precision, he clearly had in mind a distinctive artistic style and its concomitant iconography, particularly exemplified by the members of the ‘Codex Borgia group’ of ritual and divinatory screenfolds (...

Article

Paracas  

Helaine Silverman

Name given to a Pre-Columbian culture of the Central Andean area. The culture is named after the Paracas peninsula in Peru, 300 km south of Lima, the location of an important Pre-Columbian site discovered by Julio C. Tello and S. K. Lothrop in 1925 (see also South America, Pre-Columbian). By 1927 three distinct cemetery areas on the peninsula, known as Cabeza Larga, Cavernas and Necropolis, had been located and excavated. Each contained mummy bundles or ‘fardels’ wrapped in exceptionally fine multicoloured embroidered cloths (see fig.). The Necropolis area contained more than 400 conical bundles. Some were noticeably richer than others and were composed of up to several hundred textiles, arranged in layers of plain cloths and decorated mantles, shirts, loin cloths, ponchos, skirts, turbans and belts. Together, the three Paracas peninsula burial areas yielded thousands of iconographically complex, technically excellent textiles, now in museums throughout the world. The Paracas textiles varied in style over the time during which the burial grounds were used. The earliest (...

Article

Giulio V. Blanc

(b Yaguajuay, nr Placetas, Jan 5, 1896; d Havana, April 8, 1968).

Cuban painter, ceramicist and illustrator. She studied under Leopoldo Romañach (1862–1951) at the Academia de S Alejandro in Havana, where she was influenced by Impressionism. She graduated in 1924 and lived in Paris from 1927 to 1933, studying at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière, the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts and the Ecole du Louvre. She also studied composition and colour with the Russian Constructivist and stage designer Alexandra Exter. She held an individual exhibition at the Galerie Zak in Paris in 1933 and in 1934 returned to Cuba.

Peláez applied her Parisian experiences, particularly of Cubism and of her apprenticeship to Exter, to a personal style based on the forms and colours of the luxuriant tropical vegetation and the Baroque colonial architecture of Cuba. Like Víctor Manuel, she combined modernism with native elements in a style at once Cuban and cosmopolitan in paintings such as Still-life in Red...

Article

Giulio V. Blanc

(b Havana, Feb 14, 1912; d Havana, Apr 7, 1985).

Cuban painter, ceramicist, and illustrator. Although he attended some classes at the Academia de S Alejandro in Havana, he taught himself to paint by studying the work of a number of artists, especially Picasso, without allowing these influences to dominate his own strong personality. Like many of his Cuban contemporaries he portrayed local scenes in combination with cosmopolitan elements. Portocarrero’s earliest important paintings, the interiors of the old Havana Cerro quarter, were painted in the 1940s. In colourful, baroque still-lifes and in interiors with figures such as Interior (1943; Havana, Mus. N. B.A.), the horror vacui of Cuban colonial architecture and interior decoration is exploited to the fullest. During the late 1940s and early 1950s Portocarrero produced abstract and semi-abstract paintings that stressed colour and geometry. He also produced a series of pen-and-ink drawings entitled Masks depicting, for example, a couple in formal dress (Havana, Mus. N. B.A.). Other series from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s include cityscapes, cathedrals, Afro-Cuban deities, women, and the carnival. All these series are characterized by strong colour, a love of the fantastic, and complex lines and forms, as seen in ...

Article

Laura E. Leaper

(b Santa Barbara de Tutuaca, May 6, 1940).

Mexican ceramicist. Quezada is credited with reviving the Mesoamerican polychrome pottery of the Casas Grandes tradition. Quezada observed the techniques, styles and materials of Casas Grandes potsherds in the fields surrounding his small village of Mata Ortiz, near the ancient ruins of Paquimé in Chihuahua, Mexico. After mastering the technology to replicate these ceramic objects, Quezada not only revived the ancient art form of his ancestors, but also helped to train a generation of potters, including his brother Reynaldo. The Mata Ortiz school stands out among imitators of Casas Grandes ware in both its craftsmanship and design.

As a young child Quezada showed extraordinary artistic and inventive talent. He left school at the age of 12 to begin work, harvesting goods to sell at market. In the mountains where he gathered fruits and nuts for sale, he began finding ancient potsherds. At the age of 16, after observing and collecting hundreds of pieces of pottery, he decided to try to make his own and he was eventually able to quit his job and become a potter full-time....