STANDING FIGURE

MEZCALA - MEXICO

350 - 100 BC

Height : 28.8 cm - Width : 5.7 cm - Depth : 5 cm

Speckled beige-green diopside skarn

Provenance

Former collection Henry Planten since 1968

Collection Galerie Mermoz since 2020

This intriguing character is a beautiful expression of the Mezcala culture that flourished in the Guerrero region at the end of the pre-classical period, to whom we owe a deeply original production of stone figures. It is distinguished by its large size, its filiform profile, the character of its speckled stone, and the expressiveness of the face obtained in a few skillfully distributed synthetic features.

Mezcala style sculptures fascinated Western artists of the 20th century, the Surrealists among others, inspired by the unique forms, the refined graphics and the intrinsic strength of these creations, draped in their nudity, and which appear to directly express the meanderings of the human soul.

Although, as Octavio Paz said, "the function of art is to open doors to the other side of reality", Guerrero's repertoire is certainly a success. Its sobriety may have been dictated by the rudimentary tools available to artists of the time, but it seems that they were keen to keep it simple, precisely because it helps to stimulate the imagination and makes us wonder about what lies beyond the visible.

The function of Mezcala works, and its neighbour the Chontal tradition, remains a mystery. It is assumed, however, from the fact that they were buried under dwellings or in votive caches, that they were ritual and funerary offerings whose role was to honour the ancestors and commune with the guardian spirits of the Earth and Nature. They are therefore the sign of a society that is already spiritually evolved, convinced of the existence of higher powers.

This intriguing character is a beautiful expression of the Mezcala culture that flourished in the Guerrero region at the end of the pre-classical period, to whom we owe a deeply original production of stone figures. It is distinguished by its large size, its filiform profile, the character of its speckled stone, and the expressiveness of the face obtained in a few skillfully distributed synthetic features.

Mezcala style sculptures fascinated Western artists of the 20th century, the Surrealists among others, inspired by the unique forms, the refined graphics and the intrinsic strength of these creations, draped in their nudity, and which appear to directly express the meanderings of the human soul.

Although, as Octavio Paz said, "the function of art is to open doors to the other side of reality", Guerrero's repertoire is certainly a success. Its sobriety may have been dictated by the rudimentary tools available to artists of the time, but it seems that they were keen to keep it simple, precisely because it helps to stimulate the imagination and makes us wonder about what lies beyond the visible.

The function of Mezcala works, and its neighbour the Chontal tradition, remains a mystery. It is assumed, however, from the fact that they were buried under dwellings or in votive caches, that they were ritual and funerary offerings whose role was to honour the ancestors and commune with the guardian spirits of the Earth and Nature. They are therefore the sign of a society that is already spiritually evolved, convinced of the existence of higher powers.