Memories of Teotihuacan

We spent yesterday afternoon delighting in the mystical offerings of the Moon and the Sun pyramids , Feathered Serpents and the well traveled Avenue of Death , I speak of LACMA ‘s excellent exhibition , on display now ( through July 15th) City and Cosmos : The Arts of Teotihuacan.

The following are some mementos, but they hardly do the works displayed any justice .

LACMA is bursting with amazing offerings at the moment . Of personal interest is Ancient Bodies : Transformation, Personhood, and Power in Mesoamerica ( open through July 8th); an exploration of contemporary Iranian art that seemed from first cursory glance to be almost too spectacular In the Fields of Empty Days : The Intersection of Past and Present in Iranian Art ( through September 9th) and opening June 3rd The Chiaroscuro Woodcut in Renaissance Italy ( through September 16th).

Much to occupy my summer .

My David at the foot of the Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacan, 2013.

And now some snapshots from yesterday’s visit ,  treasures unseen , unknown to us prior .

This Host figurine was perhaps the most inspirational of what I saw yesterday . The figure , under a foot , initially held smaller figures . I am eager to incorporate this idea into my own work .

Also inspirational was this Bundle figure , a graven depiction of a sacrificial bundle offering with detachable masks . Masks are nearly as important to my own work as they are famously important to that of Teotihuacan.

 

A small delicate piece .

And a large offertory piece ( with squinting husband for scale ) . Mysteriously smashed at the end of the Teotihuacan Empire , many large scale figures destroyed seemingly purposely, still not clear why .

Magical figurines from the Pyramid of the Moon.

Of course plenty of incredible wall murals , the fresco luminous to this day .

A most comical avian figure .

And a wondrously detailed warrior.

 

I’ll end with this most expressive face.

Magnificent Inspiration

Last evening the Beloved and I went to LACMA to at last catch ” Ancient Bodies: Archeological Perspectives on Mesoamerican Figurines” , link: http://www.lacma.org/art/exhibition/ancient-bodies. A beguiling collection of figurines found near to dust at a ritual burial site in Guatemala, now restored . It is an extraordinary miracle that they have survived and that the shards of ephemeral clay , shimmering still with that iconic Maya blue , were able to be restored to their imaginative theatrical splendor . The attention to detail , the costumes , the inherent ritual of the funerary drama , all deeply moving and inspiring.

Here are some snapshots of these diminutive masterpieces. The show closes tomorrow February 4th, you literally have only hours to see this before they are returned to the vault, for how long , I haven’t a clue.

For a sense of scale, my husband gazes in wonder.

The following were not found in the aforementioned burial site but are part of LACMA’ current holdings of Maya ( Mesoamerican in general ) art . A testament to the richness of their treasure rooms . It’s a wondrous collection in a dazzling suite of gorgeous galleries , 4th floor of Art of the Americas Building.