The Stone and the Thread: Andean Roots of Abstract Art

The Stone and the Thread: Andean Roots of Abstract Art


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The Stone and the Thread: Andean Roots of Abstract Art by Cesar Paternosto

The ancient art of the Andes achieved its most sophisticated expression in weaving and painted pottery, as well as stone sculpture. Yet these objects have long been dismissed as "craft" items by observers for whom "art" means paintings on canvas and other manifestations of the European art tradition.

In this major, paradigm-shifting book, first published in Buenos Aires in 1989 as Piedra abstracta, César Paternosto offers the first comprehensive analysis of ancient Andean art in its own terms. Drawing all manifestations of Andean art-textiles, pottery, stone sculpture, carved rock outcrops, and the famous lines in the Nazca desert-into one coherent whole, he persuasively argues that these were the art media that fulfilled the symbol-making needs of a society that made no distinction between "art" and "craft."

Challenging the notion that abstraction is a development of the modern West, Paternosto reveals its deep roots as an indigenous American tradition and shows how that tradition reverberates in the work of twentieth-century artists such as JoaquÌn Torres GarcÌa, Barnett Newman, Adolph Gottlieb, and Josef Albers. This section of the book, significantly expanded from the Spanish original, adds an important new chapter to the art history of the Americas.

Engagingly written and beautifully illustrated, The Stone and the Thread unveils the masterpieces of ancient Andean art that have been long secluded in anthropological and natural history museums. It will open up new ways of seeing indigenous American art for a wide readership.

A resident of New York City, César Paternosto is a leading abstract artist who has exhibited widely in the Americas, Europe, and Japan.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780292765658
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Publication date: 01/01/1996
Pages: 296
Product dimensions: 8.74(w) x 11.28(h) x 0.97(d)

What People are Saying About This

Lucy Lippard

Lucy R. Lippard, author of Overlay: Contemporary Art and the Art of Prehistory

César Paternosto's book brings a new angle (and more importantly, a new eye) to ancient Peruvian art-those astounding monuments that have been neglected in favor of European megalithic structures. . . . Here is the missing link between the vast amount of literature available on the European sites and the work that has finally commenced on Native North American sites.

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