Feather Tunic. Huari Culture, 800AD, Southern Andes, 180x90cm, Paul Hughes

Threads to Abstration

200BC to 1500AD

At Frieze Masters Paul Hughes Fine Arts is presenting a museum quality collection of Andean Pre-Colombian textiles for sale. These sumptuous antiquities date from 200BC to 1500AD and are the fruits of 35 years collecting – view available works

“All art was once contemporary”

Andean Pre-Columbian Textiles are one of the seminal yet little known influences to a Pan-American prototype of abstraction in the pre and post-war era, innovative art schools such as the Bauhaus, Black Mountain College and museums collections at the Natural History and the Museum of Primitive Art in NYC where also instrumental, dealers such as Betty Parsons and Andre Emmerich also played a pivotal role in these cross fertilisations of visual arts culture.

The extent to which African and Oceanic tribal art have nourished and influenced the Cubist, Surrealist and later schools of modern art is well known and documented. Less known or published is the impact and connections of Pre-Columbian art in the context of modern artistic developments apart from ancient Mexican architectural and sculptural in influences on works of, Frank Lloyd Wright, Diego Rivera and Henry Moore.

Threads to Abstraction will present visual comparative narratives illustrating the role that Andean Pre-Columbian Textiles arts have played a significant and major part in opening the windows to new developments of Abstraction in the 20th century.

Challenging the notion that abstraction is a unique development of the modern West, this collection reveals its connections and deep roots in Andean Pre-Columbian Textiles arts, it further illustrates the threads that link and aesthetic kinship in the work of twentieth-century artists such as Joaquín Torres García, Josef and Anni Albers, Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, Adolph Gottlieb, and other important artists related to the Abstract Expressionists, Colour Field movement and later stylistic developments such as Minimalism.

Miniature Feather Textile
Late Huari Culture Circa, 1000AD, 40 x 50 cm
Paul Hughes

Josef Albers
Homage to the square:
Diffused 1969, 121 x 121 cm

The Paul Hughes Andean textile collection comprises over 35 works collected over the last 35 years and has been exhibited and published widely. His focus in collecting is the relationships to be found in the ancient and the modern.

The textile arts of the ancient Andes are one of the most important contributions to the worlds artist legacy combined with a technical virtuosity that’s hardly surpassed, these artists were deeply aware of their reciprocal relationship with nature and there gods as cosmic forces, counting on the Upper World and Lower Interior World to heed there call. They believed that divine response to there invocations was contingent upon a display of respect and veneration by mortals. It is for this reason that such exquisite textiles, glowing with luminescent colours and vibrant designs, radiate a profound faith and an exquisite transcendental sense of unique splendour.