Bruce Hixon Smith
oil on canvas
Notes about the artist and artwork:
This painting by Bruce Hixon Smith relies heavily on repetition. He often paints objects two or three times on the same canvas. He begins his work in a relaxed, uninhibited manner. He draws and redraws contour lines, making no attempt to cover up the first lines. These lines create a sense of movement, as if the person has paused momentarily or the fabric might move in the breeze. Smith brushes colors on thinly and briskly. He then moves from general to specific, usually concentrating on one focal point, building up colors, textures, and details, but leaving some areas gestural. He also uses multiple views and techniques like repetition to make his paintings offer us a wider view of ourselves. The artwork also invites us to ponder, to have “a growth of awareness. . . a refinement of self-understanding.”
San Juan Cotzal Huipil
Late 20th century
Notes about the artwork:
Traditionally, huipil tunics were worn by Mesoamerican women and woven on a “back-strap loom.” Still worn today by their descendants, huipils tell stories about the wearer—her ethnicity, which village or community she is from, marital status, and something personal about her. The weaver uses color, pattern, line, shape, and design to convey her story through a symbolic, visual language. Though there are many common symbols, like those that link communities or declare marital status, each huipil is unique to its wearer and is designated for a particular purpose or ceremony. Like many traditional textiles, the huipil weaving skills are passed down from mother to daughter. Weavers use natural dyes. See this link for a color chart.