Hopi Pottery Tile with Bat Design by Mark Tahbo [SOLD]


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Mark Tahbo, Hopi-Tewa Potter

This pottery tile was made by Hopi-Tewa potter Mark Tahbo.  The tile features a bat design in black over golden orange Hopi clay. Each wing is decorated with a moon design, with one representing a new moon and the other a full moon. As always, Tahbo executed the designs with incredible style and skill. The back of the tile is decorated with an intricate pattern of repeating impressed designs, adding an appealing texture to an area that many artists might ignore. This is a unique and appealing work from a significant Hopi-Tewa potter.

Mark Tahbo originally brought this tile to Adobe Gallery in late 2017, along with a handful of tiles with different designs and a few excellent seed jars. Unfortunately, Tahbo passed away just a few months later, so that group of artworks was the last we acquired directly from him. Certain pieces from that group have returned to us, as the collector who purchased them is downsizing. We are delighted to be able to spend time with our friend's late-career work again.

The artist signed M. Tahbo on the edge of the tile (see below). A wood display stand is included.

Artist signature of Hopi-Tewa Potter Mark Tahbo.  The artist signed “M. Tahbo” on the edge of the tile.

Mark Tahbo (1958-2017) was a Hopi-Tewa potter and a member of the Tobacco Clan. He began potting actively in 1978. He came from a long line of outstanding potters, the most famous of whom was his great-grandmother, Grace Chapella. Grace Chapella, of course, is famous for living 106 years and continuing to make pottery past her 100th birthday. His siblings were potters too. Mark made extremely thin-walled vessels and polished them to perfection. His designs were executed with remarkable precision. Because of his fine workmanship, he received numerous awards at the Heard Museum Annual Indian Fair and the annual Santa Fe Indian Market. In 1991, he won the Overall Prize at Indian Market. In 1992 he was awarded Best of Division at the Heard Museum Indian Fair. Awards continued to be presented to him throughout the rest of his career. Mark passed away on December 22, 2017.

Condition: excellent condition

Provenance: this Hopi Pottery Tile with Bat Design by Mark Tahbo was acquired by Adobe Gallery from the artist in 2017, sold to a New Mexico collector who is now downsizing. Tahbo passed away just a few months after bringing us this piece.

Recommended Reading: Hopi & Pueblo Tiles: An Illustrated History by Kim and Pat Messier

TAGS: Hopi-TewaGrace ChapellaHopi PuebloAlma TahboPueblo PotteryNampeyo of HanoMark Tahbo

Mark Tahbo, Hopi-Tewa Potter
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