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CONTEMPORARY TALAVERA: Art Collection of Universidad de las Américas Puebla

Jul 2, 2010 - Dec 4, 2010

This exhibition is a part of In the Shadow of the Volcanoes: Contemporary Art from the Mountains of Central Mexico Exhibition

As part of the contemporary Mexico exhibition, the Mezzanine Gallery features a select group of works of contemporary talavera ceramics from Universidad de las Américas Puebla’s (UDLAP) Permanent Collection. Talavera is a style of pottery and design that was created and perfected in the Puebla, Mexico region. Talavera has many traditional designs, but most of the artists featured in this exhibition use traditional forms with their own take on the design, or create their own interpretation using the traditional methods.

Contemporary Talavera

When one speaks about Puebla, we inevitably think about the imposing volcanoes that guard her, the Popocateptl and Iztaccíhuatl, the culinary delicacies that were created in this state, such as Mole Poblano, its baroque architecture, and of course, the ceramic of Talavera, that adorns practically every building, every patio, every square and even kitchens.

Talavera is the name reserved for a ceramic clay body produced in Puebla, Mexico. Specifically it is a type of majolica (a highly decorated earthenware with tin oxide glazes) which is white in color. Talavera is the oldest tin-glazed ceramic in America and it is still being manufactured with the same techniques as in the 16th Century.

Traveling though Puebla, it is evident the impact talavera has on the culture, creativity, architecture and everyday life.

In the late 1990’s, UDLAP’s Department of Culture started a project in conjunction with Uriarte Talavera, one of nine workshops registered to produce authentic talavera, to invite prominent Mexican artists to create contemporary ceramic works while respecting the original techniques. “When structuring the collection, 57 artists of different backgrounds and experience were considered. From these, more than 130 pieces were gathered to present innovating proposals in sculpture and decoration. The selection was not easy, since there was a need to build quality standards and to dismiss creations that in a different context would stand out for its contribution from the aesthetic point of view or for being non-conventional. However, the commitment of the project has always been the construction of a dissertation space that could transcend and reach important artistic proportions and could produce new re-evaluation movements without disturbing traditional elements of Puebla’s talavera.”

Miguel Cubiles, El Gallo De Morón, 1998, Tibor Ochavado Con Tapa, and Niño Con Sandía, 1998, Tibor con Tapa. Talavera Contemporánea Catálogo (1999). Catalog Number 28 & 29. Image Courtesy of UDLAP.

About the Art Collection of Universidad de las Américas Puebla

Since its inception, the Foundation University of the Americas Puebla, has spread the work of artists with distinguished careers in the national and international level through its collection of contemporary art. The Department of Cultural preserves, records and lists one of the most important university collections of contemporary art at the national level, which is displayed in the buildings and gardens of the campus. It also creates programs and traveling exhibitions, and projects that show the work of young artists in various disciplines related to the interests of contemporary college culture.

Art Collection of the Fundación Universidad de las Américas Puebla Permanent Exhibition

The University Library consists of several collections, among which you will find painting, sculpture, graphics, photography and talavera. The collection includes works of several artists who have been in motion as the rupture (José Luis Cuevas, Alberto Gironella, Vicente Rojo) to the latest trends (Mónica Castillo, Hector Falcon, Laureana Toledo). Among the collections, the collection also preserves the work of our faculty and alumni with career. Live and learn art in transiting UDLAP gardens, walkways and buildings. You can find work in the Library, the Treasury and the Student Center.

Additional Images


Jul 2, 2010
Dec 4, 2010
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