Friday, November 05, 2010

The object #21 Small tray from Ecuador

I bought this little pottery tray in a market in Ecuador several years ago. It is a copy of a pre-Columbian artifact and I bought it for the wonderfully graphic design on it. I am fascinated by the ancient art of Central and South America. It has such elegant line and imaginative form. I have long been intrigued by the idea of whole cultures developing a group aesthetic that is clear and distinctive and almost instantly recognizable. You see it in Egyptian art and Sumerian art and Native American art and on and on. In our culture artists and craftsmen strive so mightily to develop their own style and voice, whereas, in these ancient cultures the group seems to develop common themes and motifs that they work together to perfect and repeat.

Here are a couple of other pre-Columbian pieces. Their design sense is so strong and expressive.


  1. A very striking tray -- looks like it would make a great fabric rubbing!

  2. I read this and the last post together and chuckled at the difference in the two images they brought forth -- the strong graphics of the pre-columbian and the almost mushy grays and greens of rain. I can't wait to see how you turn that moosh into something strongly graphic (and almost abstract --snort--)

  3. I enjoy seeing your objects.