Tania Brillembourg Art Talk-04

Unfolding Visions of Contemporary Mayan Art, a live lecture by Dr. Adriana Herrera in the context of the exhibition Tiempo Circular

The Aluna Art Foundation is proud to invite you to the live lecture “Unfolding Visions of Contemporary Mayan Art”, presented by Dr. Adriana Herrera in the context of the exhibition Tiempo Circular organized by Tanya Brillembourg Art with the support of the Guatemalan Consulate in Miami.

November 29th, 2022 at 7:00pm

Funding for this talk was provided by a grant from Florida Humanities with funds from the National Endowment for Humanities.


The Mayas, inventors of the number zero, have a cyclical vision of time connected to their calendars: the tzolk’in, a 260-day cycle, that coincides with the duration of a human pregnancy; and the haab, a period of 360 days and a special time of five days for the solar year. The title of this exhibition, Tiempo Circular (Circular Time), pays homage to this ancient culture of astronomers and to its prodigious textiles that—unlike the great architectural monuments that ceased to be built—have continued to incessantly weave millenary traditions and knowledge. Neither wars nor the oppression of the conquest prevented the transmission of this knowledge maintained by women.

Two contemporary Maya Tz’utujil artists, Manuel Chavajay and Antonio Pichillá Quiacaín, learned from them. They use textiles, among other means, to move from the system of their ancestral culture to that of the international art scene, without uprooting themselves from it. The primary colors that in contemporary Western culture are associated with constructivism, are for them those of corn states and cardinal points. At the same time, the exhibition displays the inquiries of tepeu choc, a Mayan artist descendant of the Q´eqchi´and Kaqchikel peoples. Departing from the line ─similar to a thread─ he builds a language in the form of an expanded textile art which transits from drawing to sculpture. Like the ancient Mayans who calculated with surprising precision the cyclical movement of planets, he uses mathematics to structure his works of art.

Florida Humanities and the National Endowments for the Humanities supports educational programing during Threading the City, a series of fiber art exhibits across Miami. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in these programs do not necessarily represent those of Florida Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities.