c.1400 AD, Inca culture
Woven, Camelid fibres, 219 x 93 cm
This functional “modernist” loin cloth was created around 600 years ago and captured the Incan aesthetic of rigid geometry as characterised by large areas of deeply saturated single colours, the same achievements were sought after by the Colour Field artists and in particular Kenneth Noland. It begs the question of what is it in mankind’s quest for such a sublime simplicity, that the same artistic solutions are explored 600 years apart.
To the people of the Inca Empire, few things were as important as their textiles. In this example, we witness the technical virtuosity and purely defined artistic results that are exemplary of the Inca civilisation. It’s hard for us to fathom the precious importance of textiles to the Inca way of life, they were more than just clothing, they were a symbol of veneration to there Gods, not having a written language all they wish to express about there place and understanding of the cosmos in encoded in these textiles.