The Andes have historically isolated Peruvians from the rest of the cultural world, but as Seattleites know, sometimes isolation can breed creation. Seattle Art Museum's exhibition, Peru: Kingdoms of the Sun and the Moon, features more than 300 pieces of Peruvian art that span 3,000 years and multiple cultures (Mochica, Chimú, and Inca), including archaeological finds that were only recently discovered. The traveling exhibit makes its U.S. debut this Thursday, October 17 at SAM.
Because of the seclusion of many Peruvian people, artists forged their own styles out of necessity; they literally had to invent their own approaches to metallurgy, textiles creation, and more. The exhibit features an impressively diverse allotment of mediums including ceramics, oil paintings, handmade textiles, videos, photographs, and painted wood figurines, but the highlight of the show is the sculptures of silver and gold. The headlining piece is an intricately detailed Mochica gold octopus (above) that's sometimes referred to as Peru's Mona Lisa. There is also gorgeous half-gold, half-silver ceremonial bowl adorned with anthropomorphic figures dating 900–1476 A.D. and the stunningly large gilded silver, gemstone encrusted Eucharistic urn in the shape of a pelican from the Lima area, circa 1750–1760 (below). While three millennia is a lot to cover in one exhibition, Peru: Kingdoms of the Sun and the Moon offers an expansive overview of the South American country's artist contribution.
Peru: Kingdoms of the Sun and the Moon
Oct 17–Jan 5, Seattle Art Museum, $20