The Painted Stones of Chucu
In the mountainous Chucu region of southern Peru, miles of huge boulder fields form innumerable caves and passages. Starting early in the 19th Century, people exploring the area began finding painted ceramic plaques and stone slabs cached there between 700 – 1200 AD.
These amazing millennia old paintings were made with vivid mineral pigments in yellow, red, white, pale green and glittering grey tones. Many display well known Nasca and Huari geometric motifs in various combinations, while some depict stylized humans and animals. Further, the artists that made them seem to consider and incorporate their irregular shapes, using the contours and proportions as key elements in their individual compositions.
Although the ancient paintings from Chucu clearly relate to Pre-Columbian textiles in design and color, their weight and materiality differentiate them, giving each a unique and dramatic sculptural quality.