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Cochiti Pueblo. English Pronunciation: "Coh-chee-tee" Traditional Name: KO-TYIT The Cochiti people are noted for their hospitality and friendship towards visitors who are welcomed to many of the annual ceremonies for which Cochiti is famous. Many members of the Pueblo live outside the reservation and have been acculturated into the anglo-Hispanic community, but most of them continue their association with the Pueblo, especially during the major feast day. San Buenaventura’s Day in July. This is marked by dancing and ceremonies of traditional pattern and authentic costumes. At one time, agriculture was the primary activity of the Pueblo. Dams have been constructed to assist in the elaborate irrigation system that helps maintain the crops, but through the years, as employment outside the Pueblo increased, so agriculture decreased. The Pueblo has been more affected by contact with the majority culture then many of the other Pueblos with electricity, plumbing and above all, radio and television, which may account for the preponderance of the Anglo lifestyle in ratio to historic customs. Many of the ancient crafts have been revived, such as pottery and jewelry making which constitutes a good source of income from sales to tourists. One of the most popular pieces is the Storyteller figure, which was revived in 1964 by Helen Cordero. It comprises a seated man with a number of children on his arms and lap, made of clay with vari-colored decorations. Animal figures such as turtles, birds, frogs and lizards are also depicted. Many Cochiti artists work in watercolors, ink and oil paint and have achieved considerable fame for their innovative use of color. But the most important product of the craftsmen of Cochiti is the drum. These are made from hollowed tree trunks, mostly aspen, with leather ends laced together around the cylinder. Live trees are not cut down to make these drums, but great care is exercised in the selection of the logs. They are made by other Indians for their excellent quality and tone. There are a number of festivals and dances in June, July and August to which the public is invited to see the traditional dances and ceremonies of the Cochiti Pueblo.

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Ortiz, Virgil – Large Traditional Jar with Rainbow & Plant Designs

This is a large jar by Virgil Ortiz inspired by traditional Cochiti designs. The jar has a high shoulder for the form, which works great to allow the most space for his dynamic designs.  This jar has a rainbow and cloud pattern around the neck.  Below the shoulder are classic Cochiti plant and wild spinach plant designs. Virgil has modernized them into striking graphics which somehow blend both the historic and modern into one.  The use of negative space and the cream colored clay slip as a background adds to the intensity of the black designs which are painted from the wild spinach plant!   There is a space on the rim of the neck where it is unpainted, which is the “heartline”, which Virgil always paints on his clay vessels.  The jar is signed on the bottom.

$ 7,500.00
Suina, Ada – Miniature Storyteller (1978)

Ada Suina Suina (b. 1930) is a daughter of Berina and Eluterio Cordero sister to Stephanie C. Rhoades (Snowflake Flower). Her maternal grandmother, Estefanita Herrera, inspired her to become a potter, and her cousin, Virginia Naranjo, taught her how to make pottery.  Ada is well known for her storytellers.  She uses all natural materials and fires the figurines outdoors in the traditional manner.  This miniature storyteller is holding just one baby.  The piece is from the collection of Richard Spivey, known for his books on Maria Martinez.  The piece is signed on the bottom and has an “RS” painted into the clay on the bottom for “Richard Spivey”, as it was a gift to him from the artist.  It is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 65.00
Ortiz, Virgil – Stargazer Water Jar

This jar Virgil Ortiz is part of his “Modernly Ancestral” series.  It continues his story about the Pueblo Revolt 1680/2180.  The jar is beautifully constructed and is an unusual shape with the single spout.  There are Stargazer figures on either side and wildflower patterns near the spout.   The use of the figure and face continues a stylistic component Virgil has used for the past decade.   The jar has the “spirit line” which is a break in the painting on the rim.  It has been traditionally fired and uses native clay, native clay slips and wild spinach (the black).  Virgil certainly continues to be a great innovator among the Pueblo potters!

$ 5,800.00
Cordero, Helen – Grandfather Storyteller with 12 Kids

Helen Cordero is undoubtedly one of the great names in Cochiti pottery.  It was in 1964 that Cordero said she made her first storyteller.  According to her, “I made some more of my Storytellers with lots of children climbing on him to listen, then I took them up to the Santo Domingo Feast Day” and the rest is history.  Her pieces were all males, to honor her grandfather, whom she would hear telling children stories of Pueblo life and culture.  She received the New Mexico Governor’s award in 1982 and the NEA Heritage Fellowship in 1986.  This storyeller is one of her pieces from the 1970’s.  It is complex in terms of its painting and figurative work.  There are twelve children all around the figure. Each one is dressed differently and they are very interactive with one another.  Note the details on the larger figure, including the sash on the side and the squash blossom necklace!  The piece is signed  on the bottom, “Helen Cordero”.  It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  It is not often that we see one of her storytellers with so many children and with such intricate designs.  Definitely a classic!

$ 11,000.00
Holt, Lisa & Harlan Reano – Spiraling Dragon Clay Figure

Lisa Holt and Harlan Reano make an amazing team, working to create innovative pottery using traditional techniques.  Lisa makes the pottery and it is painted by Harlan.  This dragon figure combines both a pueblo and Asian influence with the avanyu and dragon combination.  The dragon is hollow and the body has a spiraling appearance.  The undulating form is exceptional clay work as the piece is hollow and it is subtley connected adding both strength to the clay and allowing the figure to have more movement. The designs are a combination of plant patterns which are then emulated with the spines along the back.  The small clay tabs which are added are the natural color of the clay, adding another dimension to the piece.  The materials are all traditional as the red and cream are both native clays while the black is wild spinach (a plant). This figure was also traditionally fired outdoors.

$ 6,500.00
Ortiz, Virgil – “Aeronaut” Pueblo Revolt 1680/2180 (p. 36)

Virgil Ortiz created dynamic figures such as this aeronaut, for his series of the Pueblo Revolt 1680/2180.  This piece was part of the exhibit of the same name at the Denver Art Museum.  The are featured on page 36 of the catalog.  The figure is made from native clay, painted with native clay slips and traditionally fired.  The black is derived from wild spinach (a plant) and the others are all natural clay slips.  In the catalog, the aeronaut is written about as follows.

These futuristic scenes underscore the movement Ortiz infuses in these clay works and their complicated painting. “I wanted to create an illusion of motion using the sculpting and painting. The Blind Archer series has a more three-dimensional style of sculpture. The Aeronauts, I designed them so they look like they are launching off like a rocket or an aircraft. They are portrayed like the Ancient Ancestors (aliens). They are laid back and surrounded with old style ‘hieroglyphics.’” “There are always three Ancestors on each Survivorship to guide them, they represent the wisdom of the elders within the marvels of technology.” The Survivorships are an integral part of the narrative and create a link from the ancient past to the future.

Note the angular shapes on both pieces.  How Virgil is able to create such dynamic forms is amazing.  The designs further enhance the shape of the piece. Virgil has expanded his technique and added new levels to his clay surfaces. Taking a closer look at the piece, note that all the various designs are from traditional elements such as sun, moon, rain and mountains.  The pieces are in perfect condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  It is certainly a unique opportunity to have a piece with such important provenance!

$ 13,500.00
Suina, Dena – Drummer Storyteller with 13 Kids

Dena Suina is known for her intricately designed storytellers.  This figure is a male drummer.  The first storyteller figures were men or grandfather figures.  The figure has 13 kids on the body.  Take a closer look and note how they are each very intricately painted and highly detailed.  Each one is interacting with another!    Dena creates amazingly intricate and very charming storytellers!

$ 500.00
Sale!
Romero, Diego – “Terms of Endearment” Bowl

Diego Romero was one of the potters around 1990 to break away from more classic shapes and styles of pottery. He returned to a pre-contact style of Mimbres culture (1100’s in southwest New Mexico) and was inspired by the open bowl shape. This has been his “canvas” throughout most of his career. The imagery evolves, changes and tells a narrative of his life and interests.  This very intricately painted bowl is entitled, “Terms of Endearment“.  It has the center panel with Chongo giving the girl a present and her shocked reaction.  Diego used the green slip for the color on the rim and more importantly to give the box a green-ish coloration of it being from Tiffany’s! Note as well all the detail in the painting.  The pottery on the pottery in the nicho and on the shelf, the logs in the oven are all highly detailed.  The interior of the bowl is then painted with a gold lustre which contrasts with the black and green.  The fine-line imagery is all derived from Mimbres iconography.  It is a charming and and visually striking piece by Diego.  The bowl is in perfect condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 5,500.00 $ 4,800.00
Reano, Dominique – “Pueblo Minion” Figure

This is charming piece by Dominque Reano (b. 1998).  She is a daughter of noted potters Lisa Holt & Harlan Reano.  She has been making throughout her childhood and excels with her clay work and painting, especially for her age!  This is a very large figure from 2013 and it is “Pueblo Minion”.  It is inspired by the movies.  Note the intricate designs painted on the body of the figure!  The design and size are exceptional!   The figure is painted with native clay slips and wild spinach plant for the black and traditionally fired.  Dominique is certainly a talented young potter to watch!

$ 900.00
Ortiz, Isaiah – Bowl with Snakes

This is a charming small bowl by Isiah Ortiz, the son of Janice Ortiz.  It is from several years ago when he was first making some pottery as a youth.  The bowl is coil built and painted with native clay slips and wild spinach plant for the black and traditionally fired.  The bowl has two snakes painted on the side.  He learned to make pottery from his mother.  The bowl is signed on the bottom in the clay.

$ 45.00
Sale!
Ortiz, Janice – Circus Dog Figure

Janice Ortiz is a sister of noted potter Virgil Ortiz.  She is known for her amazing figurative pottery.  This piece is exceptional in how she was able to make such a stable piece and yet give it the sense of motion.  It is a dog jumping through a hoop in a circus!  It is charming piece and not only well constructed but well painted!  The black is deep and fired perfectly!  The figure is coil built and painted with native clay slips and wild spinach plant for the black. They are each traditionally fired.  The piece is signed on the bottom.

$ 750.00 $ 600.00
Sale!
Romero, Diego – “Chongo Stone Heads” Jar

Diego Romero was one of the potters around 1990 to break away from more classic  styles of Pueblo pottery. He returned to a pre-contact style of Mimbres culture (1100's in southwest New Mexico) and was inspired by the open bowl shape. This has been his “canvas” throughout most of his career.  However, he has also created a few vessels over time, which are also based on ancient shapes. This jar has a classic Chaco period form with the round body and elongated neck. The design here is derived from his Chongo character, who populates much of the iconography of his pottery.  Here, Chongo is out at night among giant Chongo heads, much like at Easter Island.  Here Chongo is standing among them with coyote in the background.  Note the stars at night, and maybe even a UFO!?   It is signed on the bottom, “Chongo Made Me, Chongo Painted Me”.  The bowl is in perfect condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  The jar has a round base, so we had a metal museum mount made for it to sit on, which gives it a very modern appearance!

Click here to read more about Diego's Imagery!

Click here to read more about Diego's Imagery!

$ 6,200.00 $ 4,200.00
Sale!
Romero, Diego – “In the Beginning” Open Bowl

Diego Romero was one of the potters around 1990 to break away from more classic shapes and styles of pottery. He returned to a pre-contact style of Mimbres culture (1100’s in southwest New Mexico) and was inspired by the open bowl shape. This has been his “canvas” throughout most of his career. The imagery evolves, changes and tells a narrative of his life and interests.  This very intricately painted bowl is entitled, “In the Beginning“.  It has the center panel there are all three of Diego’s iconic figures, Hound, Coyote and Fox.  They are at that defining moment of creation, with each of them in an intertwined dance in the cosmos.  The bowl is flared out and it is painted with a classic Mimbres design.  It is signed on the rim, “Chongo Made Me, Chongo Painted Me”.  The bowl is in perfect condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

Click here to read more about Diego’s Imagery!

$ 7,000.00 $ 4,900.00
Sale!
Romero, Diego – “Fallen Angel” Open Bowl

This is a very powerful piece from Diego Romero.  The title of the bowl is “Fallen Angel” and is one of the pieces Diego has created over the years touching on the impact of addiction.  The painting is exceptional with a very simple figure and a very impactful statement created.  The bowl itself has the flared rim and two bands of intricately painted designs.  Diego was one of the potters around 1990 to break away from more classic shapes and styles of pottery. He returned to a pre-contact style of Mimbres culture (1100’s in southwest New Mexico) and was inspired by the open bowl shape. This has been his “canvas” throughout most of his career. The imagery evolves, changes and tells a narrative of his life and interests. It is signed on the rim, “Chongo Made Me, Chongo Painted Me”.  The bowl is in perfect condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

Click here to read more about Diego’s Imagery!

$ 5,500.00 $ 4,000.00
Ortiz, Seferina – Cochiti Fish Figure

Seferina created traditional style Cochiti pottery figures and vessels.  This is one of her classic fish figures.  The fish were early creations at Cochiti and reminiscent of the nearby Rio Grande River.  This fish is charming with the manner in which she painted the scales and the created movement with the tail.  It is painted with native clay slips and wild spinach plant for the black.  It is traditionally fired and  in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.

$ 175.00
Holt, Lisa & Harlan Reano – “Twisted” Figure

Lisa Holt and Harlan Reano make an amazing team, working to create innovative pottery using traditional techniques.  Lisa makes the pottery and it is painted by Harlan.  This figure is amazing as it is hollow and all coil built.  The figure is basically two columns which twist up from the base and then extend out to the arms and up to the head.  The concept for these figures was from Harlan who wanted to create a series of “Pueblo Super Heroes”.  The body has a series of painted swirl and cloud and red sun designs.  The shape and movement are exceptional on this figure!   The materials are all traditional as the red and cream are both native clays while the black is wild spinach (a plant). The figure is traditionally fired outdoors.

$ 3,000.00
King, Charles S. – “Virgil Ortiz: Revolt 1680/2180”

Over the past decade, Charles King has worked closely with Virgil Ortiz at King Galleries.  Virgil has premiered nearly all his new series at the gallery during that time.  In preparation for this book of Virgil’s work surrounding the Pueblo Revolt 1680/2180, King interviewed and worked with Virgil to help give new insight into this amazing accomplishment.  The result is the first comprehensive analysis and presentation of how Virgil conceived and then brought to life his various series dealing with the Pueblo Revolt.

Virgil Ortiz is an internationally renowned ceramicist, fashion designer, and graphic artist from Cochiti Pueblo, New Mexico. He uses contemporary art to blend historic events with futuristic elements. Set against Ortiz’s graphic murals, the exhibition “Revolt 1680/2180: Virgil Ortiz” features 31 clay figures and invites visitors to immerse themselves in a storyline that Ortiz created that begins with the Pueblo revolt of 1680. 

In addition to King’s essay, there is a spectacular forward by Herman Agoyo, who helped bring the statue of Po’Pay to the US Capitol.  Peter Held, renown curator of the Ceramics Research Center, rounds out the essays with insights into how Virgil’s work fits into the modern world of ceramics.

If you have always wanted to understand Virgil’s take on the Pueblo Revolt and how he has re-imagined it in the future, this is certainly the only book to give such insight.  Take a moment and delve into his art and check out the amazing ceramic pieces also featured in the book!  It is stunning!


Revolt 1680/2180: Virgil Ortiz
by Charles King, Foreword by Herman Agoyo
Denver Art Museum, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-914738-98-5
Hardcover, 7 ¾ x 9 in.
80 pages, 58 illustrations

$ 35.00
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