During the Pre-Columbian era (3000 BC–1492 AD) the inhabitants of Mexico were making art for daily use and ritual. Many of these objects, fashioned from clay, stone, wood, metal and woven into textiles and baskets, were of rare quality and sophistication.
This exhibiton highlighted clay and stone objects. Clay was modeled by hand, perfectly formed without benefit of a wheel. Vessels and figures were often burnished and/or painted. Stone figures, vessels and decorative objects were beautifully executed and often intricately carved. Pre-Columbian pottery and stone carving abound with material from myth and legend—gods, kings, heroes and shamansas—well as realistically portrayed people going about their daily lives. Indigenous and fantastic animals were also decorative themes. Many of these motifs have survived, changed by the Conquest and the passing of time, to be interpreted anew in contemporary folk art.
The twofold exhibition, ARTES DE MEXICO, offered a glimpse of a contemporary, evolving civilization with ancient roots—a rich and vital tradition of art and culture.