Blackware Plate signed “Maria Poveka” [SOLD]


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Maria Martinez, San Ildefonso Pueblo Potter

Artist signature of Maria Poveka Martinez, San Ildefonso Pueblo PotterThis polished blackware plate was made by San Ildefonso Pueblo potter Maria Poveka Martinez. When working with family members, Maria made the pot, and her collaborator handled the painted designs. The piece does not have painted designs, and it is signed simply "Maria Poveka." This signature on undecorated blackware, according to Richard Spivey, started being used in 1956 and was abandoned in the mid-1960s, so it lasted only a decade. However, in 1959, Popovi Da started adding a date to the pottery signatures, even those signed "Maria Poveka." That fact would shorten the period of undated Maria Poveka pottery to the 1956-1959 period.

This blackware plate reminds us that Maria's unpainted works are some of her finest. There is something about the simplicity of these pieces that appeals to many. The polished surfaces are smooth and beautiful, and the vessels' forms are highlighted when unadorned. With this piece, the polished slip covers the plate's interior and extends over its rim and edges, ending just as the clay turns inward toward its base. There is no additional design, and none is called for with a piece like this. It is a beautiful example of Maria's pottery.

San Ildefonso Pueblo artist Maria Martinez (1887-1980) Poveka is probably the most famous of all pueblo potters. She and her husband Julian discovered in 1918 how to produce the now-famous black-on-black pottery, and they spent the remainder of their careers perfecting and producing it for museums and collectors worldwide. Maria collaborated with many family members over the years and made unpainted pieces on her own. She is one of the most influential and historically significant Native artists. Her works are included in major museum collections around the world.

Condition: excellent condition

Provenance: this Blackware Plate signed "Maria Poveka" is from a private New Mexico collection

Reference: The Legacy of Maria Poveka Martinez by Richard L. Spivey.

TAGS: Pueblo Pottery, San Ildefonso PuebloPopovi DaSantana and Adam MartinezJulian MartinezMaria Martinez, San Ildefonso Pueblo Potter

Alternate side view of this Maria Martinez blackware plate.

Maria Martinez, San Ildefonso Pueblo Potter
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