Huari Tunic (with black stripes), c.800 AD
Woven, camelid fibres, 100 x 115 cm
The Andean textile weaving tradition has persisted in continuation for an uninterrupted span of 3000 year until today in the remote areas of the Bolivian highlands. This stunning and monumental example of bold Huari textile aesthetics exemplifies this culture’s technical virtuosity in expressing abstractly the beliefs that man has the power to create order, transcend space and time in a nonrepresentative colour field of geometrics. For, surely accustomed as we are with our late XXth century modes of perception freed from representational conventions, the visual impact of this cloth and those of the following group cannot fail to resonate with the archetypal heritage of abstraction inherent within us all.
The sublime beauty of this minimal aesthetics resonates with numerous modern attempts in abstract arts, from the Bauhaus master weaver Anni Albers’ “Wallhanging series” in the 1930s, the American Abstract Expressionist Newman’s “Adam (1951-52), to renowned painters in the far east such as the Dansaekua generation.