Historical Context Behind Southwest Art
New Mexico is largely considered to be the center where Native American and Western cultures meet. This is well illustrated in the city’s architecture, unique style, and vocabulary.
The Native American conventional structure of earthen walls that support a floor is a tradition that goes back 1000 years. These indigenous people were also able to erect structures of significant sizes despite the fact they could not make sun-dried bricks.
The Spanish borrowed this basic structure, and combined it with their ability to convert mud into bricks to hasten the construction process. The metal tools they came with also helped to cut vital timber for portales and doors supported by zapatas that were added to the repertory forms. As a result, more spacious living areas were availed together with large enclosed spaces.
The single aisle church is thought to be one of the most significant architectural contributions made by the Spanish, which is also referred to at the Mission Style.
Another major contributor to the southwest architectural style was the railroad built in the 1800s. It brought better tools and materials such as metals for roofs, and glass for windows. Sawmills were also built which changed the construction technology with beams, boards, and posts.
During the 1920s, art deco movement had a significant effect on the southwestern artisans at the time. Pueblo and various other motifs created a style known as Pueblo Deco. Good examples of this style are the La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe and the Kimo Theater in Albuquerque.
In the course of the mid 1900s, an initiative was launched to limit architectural styles when it came to the plaza in Santa Fe, which led to the Historic Zoning Ordinance of 1957 that is at times referred to as the Santa Fe Style. In addition, John Gaw Meem’s impact on the style of buildings at the University of New Mexico saw the emergence of the Pueblo Revival style.
John Nieto and Why he Offers the Best Southwest Wall Art
John Nieto is one of the most prolific contemporary artists to come out of New Mexico, which can be clearly seen in any Southwest art gallery. His themes are concentrated on transcending the mere representation of Native American culture. His family roots in the city run deep due to the fact that it has been his ancestral birthplace for over 300 years. He reflects this in his southwest wall art. Nieto, together with his family, has resided in several northern New Mexico towns but now live in Texas.
Nieto’s southwest art prints highlight his unique style, combination of subject matter, searing color, and bold comparisons. This has made his work instantly recognizable and collectors from all over the U.S and abroad seek out his Native American artwork for their own collections.