Namingha, Les – “Hopi Mesa Pathways” Tall Jar
6.25"w x 10"h
This is a fascinating painted jar by Les Namingha. While it is part of his “Layers” series, he has created a group of pieces that focus on “pathways” in addition to the layers. This tall jar is striking in design. The vertical rectangular shapes are meant to be the Hopi mesas. They are represented at various times of the day (not the circles for the rising and setting sun as well as the moon), and at various times of the year. In a way, it reminds me of the jewelry of Charles Loloma, where he would use stones to create the mesas and cliffs of Hopi at various times of the day and the year. The gray painted background is a simple coloration that lets the vibrancy of the colors stand out. The black lines are the “pathways”. These are not just the paths through the mesa but paths we take in life. Take a look at the bottom black line with the open space in it. This is the “spirit line”, often used in the pottery of Nampeyo but also another path for the artist on this jar. There is a simple modernity to the overall composition and design. It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Les Namingha 2020”.