The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Olmec: Exhibition of Colossal Masterworks of Ancient Mexico Opens at the de Young
Archaeologists study a monumental stone head discovered at the La Venta site in Tabasco State, Mexico. © Richard Hewitt Stewart / National Geographic Stock.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- Considered the “mother culture” of Mesoamerica and recognized as America’s oldest civilization, the people known today as the Olmec developed an iconic and sophisticated artistic style as early as the second millennium BC. The Olmec are best known for the creation of colossal heads carved from giant boulders that have fascinated the public and archaeologists alike since they were discovered in the mid-19th century. The monumental heads remain among ancient America’s most awe-inspiring and beautiful masterpieces today. Olmec: Colossal Masterworks of Ancient Mexico, featuring over 100 objects drawn primarily from Mexican national collections with additional loans from over twenty-five museums, is presented at the de Young Museum February 19 to May 8, 2011. Included in the exhibition are colossal heads, a large-scale throne, and monumental stelae in addition to precious small-scale vessels, figures, adornments and masks.

Olmec brings together for the first time new finds and monuments that have never been seen by American audiences and reveals new scholarship on Olmec culture and artifacts. Curator Kathleen Berrin explains, “In the fifteen years since the last Olmec exhibition on American soil, archaeologists have made amazing finds at key sites in Mexico. Informed by the most recent scholarship, this sweeping international project brings together a terrific collection of artworks that paint a vivid portrait of life in the Olmec heartland.”

The pre-Columbian Olmec civilization flourished in the Mexican states of Veracruz and Tabasco between 1400 and 400 BC, corresponding with the Golden Age of Greece and the Zhou Dynasty of China. Olmec architects and artists produced the earliest monumental stone structures and sculptures in North America, including enormous basalt portrait heads of their rulers weighing up to twenty-four tons. Examples of large-scale works in the exhibition include:

• Monument Q (colossal head) from Tres Zapotes––carved from a distinctive porphyritic basalt and weighing over eight tons, this was the second colossal head to be discovered at Tres Zapotes.

• Colossal Head 5 from San Lorenzo––discovered in 1946, it was created using a combination of polishing and fine and rough hammering.

• Stela 1 (female figure) from La Venta––standing over eight feet tall, the stela presents a surprisingly naturalistic female figure in a pleated skirt standing in a niche.

• Monuments 7–9 (twin figures and jaguar) from Loma del Zapote-El Azuzul––a sculptural representation of two young Olmec rulers, twins, paying homage to a feline-jaguar deity.

• Small-scale jadeite objects, which embody the symbolism of sacred and secular authority among the Olmec, attest to the long-distance exchange of rare resources that existed as early as 1000 BC, and Olmec artists were unsurpassed in their ability to work this extremely hard stone with elementary tools of chert, water and sand. Jadeite highlights on view include:

• Kunz Axe (votive axe) depicting a supernatural being whose physical features are drawn from multiple sources in the natural world.

• A massive selection of polished axes from El Manati made from serpentine, greenstone, and gray, green, black and veined stones.

• Offering 4 (group of sixteen standing figures and celts) from La Venta, an extraordinary discovery from 1955, is a multiple group of religious figures engaged in a major ceremonial scene.

• Majestic winged plaque with Maya hieroglyphic text on the verso dating to 100 BC.

de Young Museum | Olmec: Colossal Masterworks of Ancient Mexico | Kathleen Berrin |




Today's News

February 21, 2011

Olmec: Exhibition of Colossal Masterworks of Ancient Mexico Opens at the de Young

Unknown Painting by Walter Sickert Re-Surfaces After 80 Years to Sell at Bonhams

Museo Picasso Málaga Presents The Kippenberger Meets Picasso Exhibition

Superlative Masterpieces From Around The World Resurface At Sotheby's Annual Irish Sale

Philly Exhibit at Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology Reopens with Chinese Mummies

German Artist Susanne Kuhn's First Exhibition with Haunch of Venison Opens in London

Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris Opens in Richmond, Virginia

Catholic Temples Built on Teocallis Give Account of Prehispanic Urban Planning

Lisson Gallery in London Presents the First Solo Exhibition in London by Haroon Mirza

New Portrait of Dame Anne Owers by Diarmuid Kelley Unveiled at National Portrait Gallery

Extravagant Official Publishing Entreprise Leads Christie's Auction of Books and Manuscripts

Wavelength: An Exhibition of New Work by Alyson Shotz at Derek Eller Gallery in New York

Intermission: A Three-Week Program of International Films and Videos at James Cohan Gallery

Nelson-Atkins to Take Visitors on Quite a Ride; Shuttlecarts Launch with Monet Exhibition

Andro Wekua's Latest Film "Never Sleep with a Strawberry in Your Mouth" at Kunsthalle Wien

Views of Venice by Canaletto and His Rivals in Landmark Exhibition at the National Gallery of Art

Baltimore Museum of Art Exhibits Never Before Shown Images in "Seeing Now: Photography Since 1960"

First Major Museum Exhibition to Focus on the Hindu Deity Vishnu Opens in Nashville

Most Important Peploe Ever to Come to Auction Leads Scottish Colourist Paintings at Christie's

Informing the Eye of the Collector: Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art from J.T. Tai & Co

The Orient Expressed: Japan's Influence on Western Art at the Mississippi Museum of Art

Artist Nigin Beck Uses a Polaroid SX70 Camera for New Series of Photos at Galerie f5,6s

IVAM Announces Two Exhibitions of Masterpieces of 20th and 21st Century Art from Its Collection

Major Exhibition of the Work of British Artist George Shaw at Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art

Italian-Born Painter Marco Casentini Opens "Family Rooms" at Gilman Contemporary

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Image of a Christ without a beard, short hair and wearing a toga unearthed in Spain

2.- Giant mosaic unearthed in mysterious tomb in Amphipolis in northern Macedonia

3.- Bonhams sale of 18th century French decorative arts to benefit Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

4.- Paris flustered by erection of 'sex-toy' sculpture; Paul McCarthy slapped by a passer-by

5.- High art or vile pornography? Marquis de Sade explored in Orsay museum exhibition

6.- 'Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection' opens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

7.- Greek culture minister says Elgin Marbles return a matter of 'global heritage'

8.- Vandals deflate Paris 'sex-toy' sculpture by American artist Paul McCarthy after outrage

9.- Exhibition at National Gallery in London explores Rembrandt's final years of painting

10.- 'Hans Memling: A Flemish Renaissance' opens at the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome

Related Stories



New Acquisition to Welcome Visitors at the de Young Museum this Summer

de Young Museum to Open New Permanent Exhibition in Art of the Americas Galleries



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 Ramírez - 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