Large Polychrome Seed Jar dated 1992 [SOLD]

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Mark Tahbo, Hopi - Tewa Potter

Mark Tahbo (1958 - 2017) Hopi - Tewa - Copyright Adobe GalleryMark Tahbo (1958-2017) was a Hopi-Tewa potter who descended from a long line of talented artists.  He learned the art of pottery making from his great grandmother, Hopi legend Grace Chapella.  Tahbo was a true traditionalist whose work and life were informed by those of his ancestors.  His thin-walled, perfectly painted vessels were always crafted using traditional methods and Native materials.  Mark received numerous awards from many of the significant Native art events, including Best of Division at the 1992 Heard Museum Indian Fair and Overall Prize at the 1991 Santa Fe Indian Market.

Adobe Gallery was fortunate to be able to work closely with Tahbo during his long and productive career.  His visits to the gallery, during which he would speak at length about the details of his latest creations, were a treat to Adobe’s staff and clients.  He passed away in December 2017. His presence at Adobe and around the Native art community will be missed. Fortunately for those who appreciated Tahbo’s infectious energy, he was a prolific creator of pottery, leaving behind a large body of work for collectors.

Its base is signed “Mark Tahbo Tewa/Hopi 92”.The aforementioned awards, both of which were given to him around this time, are significant accomplishments in the world of Native art.  This large, beautiful polychrome jar was completed in 1992, during what must have been a fertile creative period for Tahbo. This piece looks to have been created by the hand of a confident potter.  Its design is simple and uncluttered. Its symmetry is notable, as Tahbo mostly abandoned symmetrical design work later in his career. Its polish is smooth and even, as is typical of his works. Its base is signed “Mark Tahbo Tewa/Hopi 92”.

The vessel’s colors are incredible, varying greatly while complementing each other wonderfully.  It is almost white in some areas, and transitions into a rich, bright orange in others. A large, dark fire cloud covers about a sixth of the vessel, which will bother some collectors and delight others.  With a piece like this—simple, expertly painted, symmetrical designs—the fire cloud is a welcome reminder of the way this piece was crafted: by hand, using the methods taught to this excellent potter by his ancestors.


Provenance: from the estate of Santa Fe collector and dealer Martha (Marti) Struever, who passed away in August 2017

Condition: this Large Polychrome Seed Jar dated 1992 is in excellent condition

Recommended Reading:  Hopi-Tewa Pottery: 500 Artist Biographies by Gregory Schaaf

Close up view of side panel design.

Mark Tahbo, Hopi - Tewa Potter
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