The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Saturday, August 23, 2014


The Kimbell Art Museum Presents "Fiery Pool: The Maya and the Mythic Sea"
Panel with a seated ruler in a watery cave (Cancuen Panel 3), 795, Cancuen, Guatemala. Limestone, 22 5/8 x 26 1/4 x 3 in. (57.5 x 66.5 x 7.6 cm). Ministerio de Cultura y Deportes—Museo Nacional de Arqueología y Etnología, Guatemala City. Courtesy Peabody Essex Museum, photograph © 2009 Jorge Pérez de Lara.
FORT WORTH, TX.- Rarely does an exhibition offer an entirely fresh way of viewing the art of a great civilization. Fiery Pool: The Maya and the Mythic Sea does exactly that––by revealing and interpreting the importance of water to the ancient Maya. Shark teeth, stingray spines, sea creatures and waterfowl appear in works of stone and clay; supernatural crocodiles breathe forth rain; cosmic battles take place between mythic beasts and deities—all part of a new and vivid picture of the Maya worldview.

Over 90 works, many recently excavated and never before seen in the United States, offer exciting insights into the culture of the ancient Maya, focusing on the sea as a defining feature of the spiritual realm and the inspiration for powerful visual imagery. Surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico, the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, denizens of Maya cities responded to the oceanic, inland and atmospheric waters that shaped their existence.

“In 1986, the Kimbell Art Museum’s landmark exhibition The Blood of Kings: Dynasty and Ritual in Maya Art shed new light on the importance of dynastic lineage and blood sacrifice to the Maya,” commented Eric Lee, director of the Kimbell Art Museum. “Recent archaeological discoveries and the deciphering of the Maya glyph for water have led to a new, broader understanding of the expansive influence that water in all its myriad forms had on both the daily life and spiritual beliefs of the Maya people. This exhibition is the next important chapter in Maya research, and I am thrilled that the Kimbell Art Museum will showcase it.”

At the height of its achievement, between 300 and 900 AD, the Maya civilization spanned hundreds of cities across Mexico and Central America. With a culture highly advanced in mathematics, astronomy, architecture and art, the Maya practiced a complex religion and used a refined pictorial writing system composed of more than 800 glyphs. The interpretation of this language has played a role in the understanding of Maya culture. While 90% of glyphs are now understood, it was only in the late 1980s that a glyph for the sea had been identified. Until this key glyph had been unlocked, the importance of the sea in Maya culture had not been fully studied or appreciated. The identification of this glyph, translated literally as “fiery pool,” was part of a growing awareness of the centrality of the sea in Maya life, which has culminated in this exhibition and its companion book.

The exhibition reflects the broad range of media used by Maya artists: massive, carved stone monuments and delicate hieroglyphs, exquisite painted pottery vessels, charming sculpted human and animal figurines, and a lavish assortment of precious goods crafted from jade, gold and turquoise.

“Not only does this exhibition provide a new understanding of the sacredness of the sea in Maya thought and culture,” remarked Jennifer Casler Price, curator for Asian and non-Western Art at the Kimbell Art Museum, “but the objects presented here are stunning examples of the highest caliber of art, from the monumental to the minute, that the Maya ever produced.”

Surrounded by the sea in all directions, the ancient Maya viewed their world as inextricably tied to water, an idea that is explored in the first section of the exhibition, Water and Cosmos. More than a necessity to sustain life, water was the vital medium from which the world emerged, gods arose and ancestors communicated.

A limestone panel from Cancuen, Guatemala, is an exceptional example of Maya sculpture, depicting a ruler known as Tajchanahk, “Torch‐Sky‐Turtle,” seated on a water-lily throne in the royal court while simultaneously inhabiting the watery realm. A bubbling stream delineates the space, with stylized foliage anchoring the corners. For the Maya, the realms of earth, sea, sky and cosmos may have been perceived as flowing into each other rather than as distinct territories of being.

The world of the Maya brims with animal life—animated, realistic and supernatural all at once. The objects in the second section, Creatures of the Fiery Pool, portray a wide array of fish, frogs, birds and mythic beasts inhabiting the sea and conveying spiritual concepts. An effigy of a Caribbean spiny lobster is the only known Maya representation of the creature, excavated in 2007 from one of the oldest sites in Belize. It dates from the turbulent early colonial period, when traditional Maya life was disturbed by the incursion of Spanish soldiers and missionaries. A plugged cavity bearing a stingray spine, three shark teeth and two blades of microcrystalline quartz hints at blood sacrifice. The head emerging from the mouth may be that of a Maya deity.

The section Navigating the Cosmos explores water as a source of material wealth and spiritual power. All bodies of water––rivers, cenotes (deep, inland pools) and the sea––were united, and all could be traversed to a cosmic realm. A magnificent head of a deity with characteristics of the Sun God––a Belize national treasure––is one of the most exquisite works discovered in the Maya world. Weighing nearly ten pounds, it was created from a single piece of jadeite, the color of which was directly associated with the sea. It was found in the tomb of an elderly man, likely cradled in his arm upon burial at the sacred site of Altun Ha.

The final section of the exhibition, Birth to Rebirth, addresses the cyclical motion of the cosmos as the Maya pictured it. The sun rose in the morning from the Caribbean in the east, bearing the features of a shark as it began to traverse the sky. Cosmic crocodiles exhaled storms and battled with gods of the underworld. An elaborate ceramic incense burner from Palenque, Mexico, portrays a deity central to a creation myth. Water-curls on his cheeks and ear ornaments, which link him to the rain god (Chahk), speak of his connection to the watery world. A shark serves as his headdress, topped by a toothy crocodile. From this censer, ritual smoke curled through the city of Palenque, suffusing it with scent and mystery.




Last Week News

August 27, 2010

Frank Gehry Presents Luma: Parc des Ateliers Project at Venice Architecture Biennale

Georgia Museum of Art Acquires Two Paintings from West Foundation Collection

Christie's to Offer Works from the Alastair Bradley Martin Estate

Tut-Tut: Security Problems Seen in Most of Egypt's Museums

The New School Names David E. Van Zandt New President

Winnipeg Art Gallery Acquires Important Painting by John Everett Millais

Bonhams Offer Masterpiece from One of the Greatest Arab Artists in Dubai Sale

John Gossage: The Pond Opens at the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Documentary on Purported Adams' Negatives Canceled

Dramatic Painting Capturing World War Two Horrors Acquired for Ben Uri

David Gordon Franklin Named Director of Cleveland Museum of Art

Recently Acquired Works of Art on View at the Menil Collection

Chinese Dinosaur Fossils Make North America Debut in Cincinnati

A Series of New Korean Films to Be Presented at MoMA

War Planes to Be the Star in WWII Museum Expansion

Christie's to Offer One of the Most Important Collections of Archaic Bronzes

Mexico's Anthropology Specialists Identify Name of Maya Ruler

Leeds Art Gallery Displays Major Elisabeth Frink Sculpture

Lewis & Clark Among Top Lots at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers' Auction

National Museum Wales Acquires Important Venetian Painting

Nick Cave's World-Famous Soundsuits Featured in the Pages of Vogue

Amon Carter Museum of American Art Announces New Registrar

Will Tough Times Trigger Wealthy Banks and Companies to Sell their Art?

Sotheby's to Hold a Sale of the Contents of One of England's Most Romantic Country Houses

National Gallery of Australia Announces $7 Million Philanthropic Gift from Pauline Gandel and John Gandel AO

Fire Razes Historic Warrior King Site in Zimbabwe

Auschwitz Memorial Acquires Nazi Medical Devices

August 26, 2010

Egypt's Antiquities Department Announces Discovery of 3,500-Year-Old Oasis Trading Post

National Museum Wales Acquires Important Venetian Painting

Lewis & Clark Among Top Lots at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers' Auction

Leeds Art Gallery Displays Major Elisabeth Frink Sculpture

Mexico's Anthropology Specialists Identify Name of Maya Ruler

Will Tough Times Trigger Wealthy Banks and Companies to Sell their Art?

Sotheby's to Hold a Sale of the Contents of One of England's Most Romantic Country Houses

Nick Cave's World-Famous Soundsuits Featured in the Pages of Vogue

Amon Carter Museum of American Art Announces New Registrar

Christie's to Offer One of the Most Important Collections of Archaic Bronzes

Christie's to Sell Property from Highly Respected Interior Decorator Robert Kime

Egyptian Tycoon, Naguib Sawiris, Offers Reward for Van Gogh Theft

Hebrew Manuscripts on View during High Holy Days at Metropolitan Museum

IMA to Present Video Exhibition Examining the Relationship Between Camera Frame and Unbounded Space

Debbie Reynolds' Collection to Highlight September Auction of Furniture and Decorative Arts

Mosque Developer Claims a Classic NYC Background

Relics from Captain Scott's Fatal Last Epedition to Be Offered at Christie's

Larry Gagosian to Present Masterpieces from His Private Collection

Bacardi Celebrates Ties to Architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

National Archives to House Infamous Nazi World War II Papers

Norman Foster Designs First Office Headquarters in Argentina

Marlborough in London Presents the Work of Caroline Walker

Christie's Presents Highest Value South Asian Art Sale Ever Offered

Bavarian State Library: First Worldwide to Offer Precious Digitalized Key Books

Jeff Koons' Infamous "Made in Heaven" Series to Go Back On View at Luxembourg & Dayan

Jim Henson's Original Kermit the Frog Comes Home to Washington

£35,000 Model Steam Engine Labelled "Mechanical Marvel of the Day" in 1898 to Sell at Bonhams

Colorado's Once-Missing Moon Rock to Be Unveiled

August 25, 2010

Mexican Archaeologists Extract 10,000 Year-Old Skeleton from Flooded Cave in Quintana Roo

Christie's Presents Highest Value South Asian Art Sale Ever Offered

Bavarian State Library: First Worldwide to Offer Precious Digitalized Key Books

Jeff Koons' Infamous "Made in Heaven" Series to Go Back On View at Luxembourg & Dayan

Relics from Captain Scott's Fatal Last Epedition to Be Offered at Christie's

Larry Gagosian to Present Masterpieces from His Private Collection

Bacardi Celebrates Ties to Architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

National Archives to House Infamous Nazi World War II Papers

Norman Foster Designs First Office Headquarters in Argentina

Marlborough in London Presents the Work of Caroline Walker

Newseum in Washington Retells Katrina Story 5 Years Later

Sculptures and Paintings Lead Christie's Sale of Indian and Southeast Asian Art

Finders Keepers: A Tale of Archeological Plunder and Obsession

Group Representing Ansel Adams Sues Over Garage Sale Negatives

Haus Konstruktiv Celebrates Concrete, Constructivist and Conceptual Art

Egypt Culture Chief, Farouk Hosni, Sleepless Over Van Gogh Theft

Major International Art Project to Bring Dialogue Between the UK and Turkey

Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art at Sotheby's

PBS Launches New "PBS Arts" Site to Expand Arts Content

United Kingdom Show Explores Jimi Hendrix's Links to Handel

United States Funds Restoration of Global Islamic Sites

Leonardo's Last Supper by Peter Greenaway at Park Avenue Armory

Nokuthula Ngwenyama Named 2010 Taft Museum of Art Duncanson Artist-in-Residence

Annual Auction of Modern & Vintage Sporting Guns at Gleneagles Fetches £375,063

Copper Cast of Lady Liberty's Nose Up for Auction

August 24, 2010

Eli Broad Picks Downtown Los Angeles Site for Art Museum to Showcase His Collection

Newseum in Washington Retells Katrina Story 5 Years Later

Exceptional Bronzes, Sculpture and Paintings Lead Christie's Sale of Indian and Southeast Asian Art

Finders Keepers: A Tale of Archeological Plunder and Obsession

PBS Launches New "PBS Arts" Site to Expand Arts Content

Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art at Sotheby's

Major International Art Project to Bring Dialogue Between the UK and Turkey

Haus Konstruktiv Celebrates 100-Year-Long History of Concrete, Constructivist and Conceptual Art

Group Representing Ansel Adams Sues Over Garage Sale Negatives

Egypt Culture Chief, Farouk Hosni, Sleepless Over Van Gogh Theft

Painting by Egon Schiele Stolen by Nazis Back in Austrian Museum

Empire State Building Cries Foul Over Proposed Rival Nearby

Spy Museum Adds Another Former Spy to Staff in Washington DC

Apply Yourself to Impressionist Gardens with New iPhone App

Large Scale Etchings by Richard Serra at Fabian & Claude Walter Galerie

The Whitney to Present Modern Life: Edward Hopper and His Time

Storm Knocks Down Monumental Tree that Cheered Anne Frank

Acropolis Open for Full Moon as Pay Dispute Solved

Who Shot Rock and Roll Ends Nation-Wide Tour at the Columbia Museum of Art

Trial Date Set in Associated Press-Shepard Fairey Dispute in NYC

Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas to Feature First Romero Britto Store at Sea

San Jose Museum Opens First Museum Survey Devoted to Work of Leo Villareal

Asian Art Dealers New York Announce Exciting Fall Schedule of Exhibitions

Sotheby's London to Hold First-Ever Sale of Chimneypieces

100% Success in Gstaad: Entire Peter F. Baumberger Motor Car Collection Sold by Bonhams

Harn Museum of Art Receives $4.2 Million Collection of Asian Art

Sotheby's Hong Kong To Offer The Bordeaux Collection from SK Networks

August 23, 2010

Pomeranian State Museum to Open Exhibition by Three Masters of German Romanticism

Painting by Egon Schiele Stolen by Nazis Back in Austrian Museum

Billionaire Eli Broad Chooses Los Angeles Site for Art Museum

Egypt Deputy Minister, Mohsen Shalaan, Detained Over Van Gogh Theft

Apply Yourself to Impressionist Gardens with New iPhone App

Large Scale Etchings 1981-1990 by Richard Serra at Fabian & Claude Walter Galerie

The Whitney to Present Modern Life: Edward Hopper and His Time

New Exhibition of African Art at the Dallas Museum of Art

Faulty Alarms Blamed for Van Gogh Theft at Mahmoud Khalil Museum in Egypt

Japanese Art Dealers Association Announces Asia Week Exhibitions

Park Avenue Armory Welcomes Yoshitomo Nara + YNG for Open Studio

Craftsman Seeks to Save Millennium-Old World of Chinese Lead Type

European Masterpieces Opening Soon at the Royal Academy of Arts

Countdown to Auctions America Debut in Auburn

Chinati Foundation Names Dr. Thomas Kellein as Director

Art Fair Tokyo Announces New Organizational Structure

VIP Art Fair: The First Art Fair to Launch in January Exclusively Online

Anne Noble: At the End of the Earth Opens at Stills Gallery in Sydney

Resounding Success at this Year's Art Nocturne Knocke

LA Unveils $578M School, Costliest in the Nation, Fine Art Murals Included

Group Exhibition of 8 Korean Media Artists to Open at Gallery Hyundai

New Orleans to Remember Hurricane Katrina with Richard Misrach Exhibition

New Installation by Trenton Doyle Hancock Takes Over the Seattle Art Museum's Olympic Sculpture Park

August 22, 2010

Faulty Alarms Blamed for Van Gogh Theft at Mahmoud Khalil Museum in Egypt

Park Avenue Armory Welcomes Yoshitomo Nara + YNG for Open Studio

Taiwan Craftsman Seeks to Save Millennium-Old World of Chinese Lead Type

European Masterpieces from Leonardo to Schiele Opening Soon at the Royal Academy of Arts

National Galleries of Scotland to Celebrate the Work of William McTaggart

The Morgan to Show Black-and-White Drawings by Roy Lichtenstein

Keith Haring and Andy Warhol to Star in American Pop Art Show

National Portrait Gallery Presents The John Partridge Sketchbook, 1823-27

Exhibition of North African Jewelry and Photography Announced in Philadelphia

James McNeill Whistler Prints on View at the University of Michigan

National Portrait Gallery to Commemorate the 60th Anniversary of "Peanuts" Debut

German Artist and Director Christoph Schlingensief Dies at Age 49

Kunsthaus Zürich to Show "Karl Moser: Art and Architecture"

Per Kirkeby Creates Specific Work for Beulas Foundation's Art and Nature Center

Chinese Ceramics, Culture and Commerce on View at the Norton Museum of Art

Five Local-Born Artists in UK's Largest Painting Prize  

Bonhams Scottish Sale Defies the Recession to Make £1,800,000

Arkansas Arts Center Presents Bigger, Better, More: The Art of Viola Frey

Dundee Contemporary Arts Presents New Works by Mary Redmond and Sara MacKillop in Two Solo Exhibitions

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Mystery over massive Alexander the Great-era tomb unearthed in northern Greece

2.- An ancient money box containing a large rare hoard of coins found in Israel

3.- Robin Williams' portrait installed today at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington

4.- The Baltimore Museum of Art announces three new contemporary exhibitions in fall

5.- New Aspen Art Museum designed by architect Shigeru Ban opens to the public

6.- New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art launches 82nd & Fifth app in 12 languages

7.- MoMA online-only publication features new research on Pablo Picasso and Cubism

8.- Volunteers needed for massive Smithsonian digitization project

9.- Tate Britain welcomes home John Everett Millais's Ophelia and Rossetti’s The Beloved

10.- Bogart estate: Hollywood golden age icon Lauren Bacall dead at 89 in New York



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Rmz. - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site