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Abstract Carvers

ABSTRACT CARVERS: Zuni Abstract Carvers have a style that derives in some respects from the first traditional Zuni carvings ever created. A faculty of recall is conjured up within the viewer that doesn't convey the physical life of the fetish; but rather the order of ideals that once prevailed there. It is in this realm where the object jogs the memory to other levels of meaning. Abstract carvers are drawn to ambiguous and simplified expressions that capture the essence of the subject. Often times only salient forms that make an animal stand out are carved in the stone - the shape of the shoulders, distinctive eye sockets, ears, snouts or tails. Some of the abstract carvers don't inlay eyes, some imply motion with the feet work or the tilt of the head. All in all; abstract carvers' work conjure the magical transition of the general form into a universal form; its modal shift from existence and possibility to necessity.

While realistic carvers such as Fabian Cheama and Dan Quam delight in the literal depiction of the animals they carve and excel in execution on concrete, minute detail, the abstract carvers like Melvin Sandoval, Melissa Quam, Herb Halate, and Dee Edaakie are drawn to ambiguous and simplified expression that captures the essence of the subject - all the more elegant in it's simplicity.  For more information on an individual artist, please click on their name below:

Melvin Sandoval - Melissa Quam - Jimmy Yawakia - Jayne and Lynn Quam Herb Halate - Dee Edaakie - Debra Gasper and Ray Tsethlikai Bryston and Calvert Bowannie