Tlaloc (Garden Seat)

Tlaloc (Garden Seat)
Claude Conover
Artist Biography
Acquisition Number: 2010.24
Medium: Stoneware
Size: 16 1/4" x 15" x 15"
Date: n.d.
Credit: Purchased by the Canton Museum of Art

Reminiscent of ancient vessels, Conover decorated the surfaces of his stoneware pieces with cryptic scratches, stripes, and hatchings. He constructed stoneware slabs into pots of various sizes and shapes, each with a unique pattern created by handmade rollers and blades, sometimes finished with clay slip. Most are monochromatic. The vessels were grouped and displayed at ground level, often decorated with willow branches. Conover always gave his garden stools names that sounded ancient, matching the look of his pieces. Tlaloc is one of the most important gods in Aztec religion. As ruler of rain, Tlaloc brought fertility to the crops. It was by his blessing that the seasonal rains arrived on time for the vital maize harvest. It is fitting that this garden seat would rest in a place where rain would be vital to crops, paying homage to Tlaloc and asking him to bless the garden where it sat.