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The Aztec World
At The Field Museum through April 19, 2009.

By turns monumental, elegant, intimate and stark, the magnificent objects of The Aztec World bear witness to the vitality of life in the ancient capital of Tenochtitlan. Nearly 300 artifacts are featured, many brought together for the first time in this exhibition. Primarily stone and ceramic, but including many other materials, these expressions of the highly sophisticated Aztec culture include adornments from the halls of warriors, princes and priests, sculptures for personal and group devotion, and exquisite small goods of trade and tribute. Revealing the potent range of both art and style are items such as a nearly life-size depiction of an Eagle Warrior in ceramic, an immense stone serpent head, its fierce stylization giving it an uncanny energy despite its mass, and lively smaller sculptural observations of the natural world. Glyphs, deities and ritual objects also make their appearance; works date from the 13th to 16th centuries. Social and cultural notation places these vibrant artifacts in context. A rare exposure to the breadth of this complex culture. At The Field Museum through April 19, 2009.

Image: Tlaloc Pot, ceramic. © Michel Zabé / AZA. Reproduction authorized by the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia.

--Katherine R. Lieber

Katherine R. Lieber has edited ArtScope.net's Visual Arts reviews since 1998. Ms. Lieber is Editor and Associate Producer for ArtScope.net.

Editorial Note: The exhibition catalogue to The Aztec World and other books related to www.artscope.net reviews may be purchased through ArtScope.net's Amazon.com link or by clicking on the link above.

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