Always surrounded by women, Diego Rivera admired their power of fertility and female wisdom: in short, he loved them. That attraction is palpable in his native art collection, on display at the Anahuacalli.
The “pyramid” -as it is known to many- is a construction of the 20th century inspired by pre-Hispanic architecture, the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, and functionalist aesthetics. It was raised in stone to house the creations of ancient civilizations.
This building, so male in structure and yet, female in its entrails, provides the ideal framework to display the art of Adelia Sayeg. Not unlike the Anahuacalli, Adelia’s objects commute between the vegetable and the mineral. Diego, like Adelia, is a meticulous, obsessive observer of nature. Both are compulsive creative artists who feverishly work with a profusion of elements that may be observed in ceramics as ancient as the pastillage from Teotihuacán.
Adelia’s works could very well be the vestiges of an Amazonian settlement or the utensils of a matron who carries water across a deserted post-apocalyptic landscape. Tantamount to archeological remains of the future, her pottery acts as a tool to show the beauty inherent in ruins and collapse.
These works are objects and at the same time, places. They are landscapes, labyrinths and miniature cities filled with hanging elements, forces in constant motion, gears, weights and counterweights. Adelia’s art toys with the notion of equilibrium.
On the other hand, her works also possess entrails of abundant female sexuality. Machama (old wise woman) is not only a tribute to the fertile and powerful women in the artist’s family tree, but also an offering to femininity, the ancestral wisdom of women that empowers both the grandmothers in her family and those of a more universal lineage. Adelia Sayeg was selected by the Anahuacalli because she restores nature’s sacred meaning. Machama recreates the duality our ancestors believed in, one that Diego drew sustenance from as well.
Adelia Sayeg (1962, CDMX)
Over the course of her career, Sayeg has participated in over 90 exhibitions, including individual shows held in Mexico, the United States, and various countries in Europe and Asia. She has participated in the Florence Biennale, the Latin American Biennale in New York, and on two occasions, in the Utilitarian Pottery Biennale of the Museo Franz Mayer in Mexico City. Her most recent exhibitions were 50ydos at the Museo Textil de Oaxaca (MTO) and Rituales at the Museo del Antiguo Arzobispado.