Object of the Day: A ‘Modern’ Cubist Sculpture

Without telling you more about this figure, you’d be forgiven for thinking it is the output of a 20th century abstract artist, perhaps a work by Constantin Brancusi or Barbara Hepworth. Truth be told, this “Cubist” figure is actually the artistic product of Mexico’s Mezcala culture which thrived between 350 and 100 BC, making this “modern” sculpture more than 2,000 years old.

The sculptors of this period carved such figures votive offerings to their gods. They were arduously produced from very hard stones, mainly andesite and serpentine, and polished to give the finished work a beautiful dark-green sheen. With its bold simplicity that minimally defines the face, eyes, hands and legs, this figure is an ancient masterpiece with a minimalist quality that instantly appeals to our senses even today.

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