Juan Quezada: The Legend of Mata Ortiz

High-resolution Images • Press Release (pdf) • Reception

On View:June 8 – December 29, 2019
Reception:June 8, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm • Talk by Michael Wisner @ 7:00 p.m. • Artist in Attendance

An encyclopedic retrospective of over seventy pieces, including rare early works. Enjoy this exclusive opportunity to meet Mexico-based artist Juan Quezada and hear from Colorado-based artist Michael Wisner (Michael Wisner Art).

Juan Quezada

In 1999, Mexico awarded Juan Quezada its highest honor for a living artist – the Premio Nacional de Ciencias y Artes – a capstone accomplishment for the self-taught an artist. Quezada’s work is inspired by the shards of Paquimé (or Casas Grandes) pottery that he found in the hills near his rural home. Remarkably, this inspiration led him to spend fifteen years empirically rediscovering and reinventing the entire ceramic production process based on his analyses of these shards. Juan Quezada: The Legend of Mata Ortiz brings together 70 works to chart Quezada’s meteoric artistic evolution, from imitative pueblo-styled functional bowls and effigies in the 1970s, to recent, painterly vessels juxtaposing swooping, curvilinear designs with tight, geometrical patterns – his unique contemporary reinterpretation of historical Paquimé iconography.

Michael Wisner

Inspired by ancient Anasazi and Mimbres potsherds, Michael Wisner began making southwestern pottery nearly 20 years ago. He digs local clays from the ground near his studio in Woody Creek, Colorado. Over the past 16 years Wisner has studied extensively with Potters of the American Indian Pueblos and Mata Ortiz, Mexico. In 1989 he began an apprenticeship with Juan Quezada. His work is now uniquely his own, but the influence of this master ceramist remains deeply within his work.