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"Eve II, 9" x 7.5", 1993

Maffei’s use of a diminishing scale in a pattern to suggest roundness or recession is also seen in pieces such as Women with Cat and That Cat. This technique was also employed by the consummate Wari weavers. In tunics such as this one, the figures in the bands towards the outside of the body are compressed in shape and size. Rebecca Stone Miller speculates that the rounding effect of this illusionistic trick would have made the wearer appear larger.2 Maffei’s interest in and respect for the accomplishments of the Wari weavers is shown through the adaptation of this technique to her own ends.

Fragment Strassbourg, from Rapp Buri, Anna and Monica Stucky-Schurer, Zahm und Wild: Basler und Strassburger Bildteppichge des 15. Jahrhunderts. Mainz: Verlag Philipp von Zabern, 1990.

In Joan and Mary we see again the interest in pattern and the very deliberate manipulation of spatial conventions. In Joan the scale of the pattern in the shirt is increased and decreased so that it suggests the roundness of the breasts, a further adaptation of the motif compression seen in the Wari tunics. Here the pattern not only changes from smaller to larger, it also moves off the horizontal register and becomes curved. The pattern in the skirt, however, remains completely flat. The bright pattern of the skirt pushes forward, further confusing the spatial relationship between the rounded bodice and the flat skirt. In Mary, the only suggestion of space is in the abrupt shifting of the pattern in the clothing where the the two sides of the garment overlap in the front. The bright, aggressive yellow used in the background moves forward and unites with the yellow of Christ’s shirt, again flattening space by uniting the foreground and background.

"Joan" 42" x 10.5", 1993

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