Hopi-Tewa Redware Pottery Tile with Bird Design by Mark Tahbo [SOLD]


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Mark Tahbo, Hopi-Tewa Potter

This redware pottery tile was made by Mark Tahbo of Hopi Pueblo. It dates to 2017—late in the artist's life and career. Tahbo brought this tile to Adobe during the 2017 Santa Fe Indian Market, along with more pieces in a variety of styles. Those who visited that year might remember Tahbo's near-constant presence as a charming and knowledgeable salesman of sorts, explaining his forms and designs to those who were curious. In actuality, he had already sold the pieces to the gallery, so his work was technically done—he stayed and talked with visitors because he took pride in his work and enjoyed sharing it with others.

This beautiful redware tile has an appealing rectangular form. The stylized bird design pays tribute to ancestral Hopi designs, as does the black and white over red color scheme. Tahbo used to experiment with clay from various sources on the Hopi reservation, resulting in finished works in a variety of styles and colors. Here, he incorporated Kaolin, which was used for the white lines that frame the bird design. This is a beautiful example of Mark Tahbo's work.

The back of the Hopi Pueblo pottery tile is signed with Mark Tahbo’s Tobacco Clan signature.The back of the pottery tile is signed with Tahbo's Tobacco Clan hallmark signature and dated ‘17'. A wood display stand is included.

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 to 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: good condition, light abrasions on front

Provenance: this Hopi-Tewa Redware Pottery Tile with Bird Design by Mark Tahbo was acquired by Adobe Gallery from the artist in 2017, sold to a New Mexico collector who is now downsizing

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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