(Mexican, b. 1963)
1,600 burnished ceramic pieces
Each approximately: 10.5 x 11 x 3.5 cm (4 1/8 x 4 5/16 x 1 3/8 in.)
Purchased with funds donated by Scott Mueller 2020.64
Edition: Edition of 3
Each clay piece in El Manto Negro was hand-burnished with a stone to an almost glass-like finish and then darkened with a traditional firing technique using smoke from burning cow manure.
To create El Manto Negro, Margolles collaborated with artisans in Mata Ortiz, Mexico, a region known for its ceramic work. The artisans produced thousands of square-shaped ceramic tiles, sourced from deposits at the base of Mata Ortiz’s mountainous zone. Each tile represents a victim of the drug wars that are now rampant in the region; as a grid, they speak to a collective history. El Manto Negro presents Mata Ortiz not only as a site that has fallen prey to violence, but also as a site of artistic productivity that prevails alongside hardship.
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