Atencio, GIlbert – Red Jar with Avanyu (1970s)
Gilbert Atencio is a name synonymous with classic two-dimensional style paintings at San Ildefonso Pueblo. He is undoubtedly one of the most famous of the San Ildefonso painters yet he also made a few pieces of pottery throughout his career. Gilbert was a son of Isabel Montoya Atencio and a nephew of Maria Martinez. His sister Helen Gutierrez was a well-known potter. This jar has a sharp shoulder and a sloping neck. It is fully polished and painted with an avanyu or water serpent which encircles the piece. Typical of his painting, it is very tightly designed. It is painted with the traditional cream-colored clay on the red polished surface. The jar is in very good condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair. It is signed on the bottom, “Gilbert Atencio”. Gilbert made very little pottery on his own and over 25 years I have only had three pieces by him that were not in collaboration with his mother Isabel.