Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Enrique Luft Pávlata

Enrique Luft Pávlata (INAH)
The noted painter, architect, restorer and champion of the cultural heritage of Michoacán, Enrique Luft Pávlata, died earlier this year in the city of Patzcuaro, Michoacán, at the age of 83.
Born in Linz, Austria, in 1931, Henry Luft Pávlata entered the School of Fine Arts in Berlin, Germany in 1956 and studied under the Expressionist painter Max Kaus. At the prestigious Atelier 17, in Paris, he also studied engraving with the eminent printmaker Stanley William Hayter.
In 1961 he moved to Mexico and from 1964 to 1994 worked as a restorer-conservator of historical and cultural monuments in the Directorate of Historical Monuments of INAH. His projects included the excavation and conservation of the pre-Hispanic ruins found in what is today the Regional Museum of Popular Arts in Patzcuaro, of which he became director with his wife Maria Teresa Davalos.
Patzcuaro: the Regional Museum of Popular Arts (Cristina Potters)
One of his special contributions was the study of the prehispanic technique of pasta de caña, a fusion of cornstalk paste and orchid bulbs—a material commonly used in colonial times to create light weight sculptural objects, notably the portable crucifixes of Michoacán.

For over 30 years he was a tireless and vocal supporter of historic preservation in the region, consulting and working on the conservation of numerous colonial buildings in the Patzcuaro area, including Quiroga, Tzintzuntzan and Tuxpan among others. 
In addition to his architectural and conservation work, Luft also created numerous works in painting, collage, printmaking and drawing, some of which reside in private collections in New York, San Francisco, Switzerland and Mexico.
Luft is probably best known, however for his work in the colonial pilgrimage church of Tupataro, also in Michoacán. Over several years during the 1970s he undertook the conservation and restoration of gilded main altarpiece and the long neglected painted ceiling, one of the finest in Mexico.
Here, by kind permission of Judith Hancock Sandoval, we reproduce early sketches from his research notes there (click to enlarge): 
Cross section of the Tupataro ceiling
the painted ceiling — key to panels

Tupataro, the altarpiece diagram
text © 2014 Richard D Perry. graphics courtesy of Judith Hancock Sandoval

No comments:

Post a Comment