The sculpture of these two singers demonstrates the serenity, elegance and emotion that characterize all of Maxine Toya’s pottery. Her work is entirely traditional: hand gathered and mixed clays, hand formed, stone polished, hand painted with clay slips and plant pigments, and pit fired.
Maxine conveys the sense of serenity of chanting prayers and praise through the open mouths of the singers. Perhaps they are singing prayers for a good harvest or blessings for the people of the pueblo. The faces of Maxine’s figures are beautifully sculpted and always portray a serene presence. The painted details of the mantas are simple and beautifully executed. The play of texture – the soft matte finish and the natural clay palette, like every element in this work, is subtle. Maxine combines matte-paint and micaceous slip on the same piece creating a wonderful contrast in texture and color. The bottom portion of the smaller singer’s robe is left plain to provide additional contrast.
Each piece of pottery Maxine creates is symbolic and unique in her eyes for she strives to achieve simplicity and elegance in her sculptures. She signs her sculptures as: Maxine Toya, Jemez, followed by the corn symbol to denote her clan.
Condition: Very Fine – original condition – new – in small area on the shoulder the mica slip has flaked
Provenance: Purchased directly from the artist.
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