AL Qöyawayma Polished Vase with Carved Cliff Dwelling [SOLD]


+ Add to my watchlist Forward to Friend

AL Qöyawayma, Hopi Pueblo Artist

Artist Signature of AL Qöyawayma, Hopi Pueblo Artist

This polished vase was made in 1990 by Hopi Pueblo artist Al Qöyawayma. Like most of Qöyawayma's works, it is unique in form while still paying tribute to ancestral styles. This "plainware" look-highly polished natural clay with no additional colored pigments-works only in the hands of the most skilled potters. Qöyawayma, as evidenced by the quality of this piece, is more than qualified to work in the plainware style.

For this piece, Qöyawayma fashioned a tall vase. The shoulder curves inward sharply but smoothly, leading eventually to a stylish tilted rim. Qöyawayma carved a capital A-shaped form into the clay, and then added a deeper four-sided form within its lower section. Within the upper section, a carefully carved hole goes all the way through the jar. Hundreds of tiny blocks and lines appear within the impressions, forming a design that recalls cliff dwellings and pueblo architecture. One might also see an abstract Hopi maiden in this design, or a lowercase L situated within an A, spelling the artist’s first name. This last one seems unlikely given the artist’s conceptual leanings, but it’s hard not to explore and speculate about this compelling design element. The vase is polished to perfection; its smooth, reflective surface makes the most of the tan tone. This is a fine piece from one of the best contemporary Hopi potters.

The bottom of the piece is signed Qöyawayma, dated “1990,” and numbered “90 - 19.”

Alfred H. Qöyawayma (1938- ) is one of the most famous contemporary Hopi potters.  He entered the art scene around 1970 and is still actively making pottery.  Qöyawayma attributes his pottery style to his aunt, the famous Hopi potter Elizabeth White (or “Polingaysi Qöyawayma'').  It was she who started the all-natural clay pottery without slip and with the appliqué corn design. In an interview with Indian Country Today, Qöyawayma described the themes he explores through his work: “My clay creations deal with the origins, migrations, and cultures of native peoples, particularly my Hopi roots (Coyote clan of the Sikyatki people) and the aesthetic influences of Southwestern values passed down through my family. My thought processes revolve around the question: If our clan traditions had not been influenced by European contact, where would they be today?”

Condition: excellent condition

Provenance: this AL Qöyawayma Polished Vase with Carved Cliff Dwelling is from a private collection

Reference: The Mind-blowing Pottery of Hopi Artist Al Qoyawayma, Indian Country Today, Lee Allen

TAGS: Western Sculpture: BronzeContemporary PotteryHopi PuebloElizabeth White - PolingaysiAL Qöyawayma, Hopi Pueblo Artist

Alternate close-up view of the cliff dwelling carving.

Alternate view of this vase.

AL Qöyawayma, Hopi Pueblo Artist
C4596D-vase.jpgC4596D-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.