Car with a black-on-black Tewa pottery motif

Rose B. Simpson, Maria, 2014. 1985 Chevy El Camino. Bodywork and customization by artist. Photograph by Kate Russell. Image courtesy of the artist

Rose B. Simpson: LEXICON

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This exhibition brings together two seemingly distinct art forms: Pueblo pottery and classic cars. In 2014, Rose B. Simpson, a mixed-media artist from Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico, refurbished a 1985 Chevy El Camino, transforming it with a black-on-black Tewa pottery motif. Simpson titled her work Maria in honor of renowned artist Maria Martinez (San Ildefonso Pueblo, 1887–1980), who popularized the distinctive black-on-black style. Ten years later, this exhibition debuts Simpson’s second customized car, a 1964 Buick Riviera painted in vibrant polychrome. Both cars are presented against an expansive geometric design, evoking the environment of the Southwest and transforming Wilsey Court into a bold, contemporary expression of Pueblo pottery traditions.

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