Latin American muralism Modern Art
Mexican Independence was sparked by political turmoil in Spain, the mother country. Mexican officials were receiving conflicting instructions on how to run the government. Some people revolted because they wanted self-government. 90% illiteracy and poverty rateOne of these revolts was led by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla. On September 16, 1810, in the town of Dolores, he called out for independencia, a decree eventually known as Grito de Dolores, which called for the end of Spanish rule, equality between races and redistribution of land. This day is now celebrated as Mexican Independence Day.
Latin American Independence
1810- Mexico 1811- Paraguay 1818-Argentina 1821- Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica 1822- Ecuador1824- Peru & Brazil1825- Bolivia 1826- Chile1830- Uruguay
Porfirio Daz instituted most of the reforms set up by Juarez and started making Mexico the modern country it wanted to be. He used political allies, called cientficos, to advise him in this endeavor. They stressed the need for economic development and believed that anyone who got in the way was to be punished. Liberty was sacrificed for the realization of order and progress. Indians were still treated as second-class citizens, the European ideal of beauty and fashion was the standard, and a celebration or understanding of Mexican history or identity did not exist. Criticism came from the younger generations and those who did not benefit from economic success.Pancho Villa, Emiliano Zapata, Venustiano Carranza etc.
In 1920 General Alvaro Obregn organized a coup and took office as president. He began to implement the ideals set forth by the constitution, giving land to the landless and offering workers more rights, and established an environment of growth, Mexican identity and love for Mexicos unique heritage. From all the fighting, many artists, intellectuals, writers and students wanted to uphold ideals of equality and freedom. They wanted to celebrate Indian heritage and repress European ideals. Jos Vasconcelos- would become the new Secretary of Public Education and would administer the creation of murals.
Following the Mexican Revolution, the Mexican government supported the development of a new school of art to break with the dominance of the European tradition. This new movement sought to create a real Mexican art that would strengthen and reaffirm Mexican identity and the values of the Revolution. The Mexican Muralist movement was born as a means to provide a visual narrative of the post-Revolutionary vision of Mexican history and was driven by the ideal that art should be by the public, for the public.
Main Influences and Ideas
Jos Guadalupe Posada + Dr. Atl +Saturnino HerrnItalian Renaissance frescos Murals are to publically advocate for changeDirected toward mass population who were illiterate Meant to promote pride and respect for culture- especially Mestizo and Indian culturesConvey information about Pre-Columbian heritage Teach about the Conquest and the Revolution
Jos Guadalupe Posada(1852-1913)
Mexican popular engraverWould influence the muralists of Mexico by the way his figures tell stories Posadas prolific output of prints represented for Rivera the vitality of Mexicos rich traditions of popular art and the most penetrating views of Mexican social life in the years before the revolution.A political populist, championing the cause of justice and freedom.crafted an estimated 15,000 different images in woodcuts, type-metal engravings, and zinc relief etchings!Posada documented the world around him, ushering in the great age of Mexican printmaking. his subjects ranged from the local to the national to the supernatural Jos Guadalupe Posada. Calavera catrina. 1890s
Jos Guadalupe PosadaNewspapermen depicted as Bicycling Skeletons1890
Calaveras of the Masses1910Mexico City
Some prints used skeletons to parody political leaders, social movements, and even the production of broadsides. These sheets, known as calaveras, drew on a long tradition of producing satirical caricatures for the Dia de los Muertos. The penny sheets were very popular, at a time of high illiteracy rates.
This broadside was produced after November 20, 1910, when Francisco Madero called for an armed insurrection against the Diaz regime.
His birth name was Gerardo Murillo Cornado, his artist name is Nahuatl for water Professor and artist who promoted modern art, Indian art and the idea of a Mexican national art.The Mexican countryside became a central and significant theme in Mexican painting His work promoted an anti-academic and in Mexican terms, modernist art. signaled his admiration for Mexico's ancient cultureHaving been a prime instigator of the Mexican mural movement, Atl went on to become Mexico's leading advocate for landscape painting as an artistic endeavor of grand scope and universal meaning, and he dedicated his career to the intensive study of Mexico's volcanoesDr. Atl. Self-Portrait with Popocatpetl. 1928. Atl color (oil, wax, dry resin, and gasoline) on canvas
Dr. Atl had traveled extensively through Europe and was fascinated by the importance of murals of the Italian Renaissance (15th-16th century). He admired the work of Michelangelo and Leonardo for their spiritualism and spontaneous energy. He believed that this dimension was needed in order to create a Mexican modernism. Dr. Atl first began with the concept of using mural paintings in order to decorate which would inspire the future muralists to create politically infused murals.
Michelangelo. Sistine Chapel. 1512. Vatican City, Italy.
Saturnino HerrnThe Legend of the Volcanos1910. triptych. Oil on canvas
Depiction of pre-Hispanic themes, in which the figure of the Indian stands as symbolic and allegorical representation of spiritual and moral virtues in the race
Legend of the volcanoes might be considered the last major history painting of the 19th century Mexico, or the first great one of the 20th century. The painting fuses diverse genres, including allegory, history, and landscape. His subjects are not resurrected archaeological heroes denoting political morality, but contemporary symbols infused with universal themes dear to the modernsitas: passion, suffering and tragedy. Herrn portrayed an Aztec myth that explained the origin of the volcanoes in human rather than geological terms. In the painting, the lovers bodies literally become as green as ice. But Herrn reinterpreted the tragic story using race, rather than social class, as the barrier to union, in order to allude to an equally tragic national narrative.
Los Tres Grandes(The Three Great)
David Alfaro SiqueirosDiego Rivera Jos Clemente Orozco.
Born in Guanajuato, MexicoProdigy artist- started drawing at the age of 3 and was formally admitted into the art academy at the age of 10 at the Academy of San Carlos in Mexico CitySelf-proclaimed atheist and active communist His large wall works in fresco helped establish the Mexican Mural Movement in Mexican art. Between 1922 and 1953, Rivera painted murals among others in Mexico City, Chapingo, Cuernavaca, San Francisco, Detroit, and New York City
Studied in Europe, specifically in Spain, Italy and France and produced many Modern works of art that were particular to the European style. (Cubism and Post-Impressionism) One of the most influential works to inspire Rivera were the Italian murals of the Renaissance. Vasconcelos convinces Rivera to come to Mexico and bring his knowledge of art back home and create murals for the Mexican government. Rivera is considered by many to be the father of Mexican muralism and the creator of Modern Mexican artRivera is best known for his depiction of the working class and of indigenous people Diego Rivera, Maternidad, Angelina y el nio Diego (Motherhood, Angelina and the Child Diego).1916. Oil on canvas. Cubism
Diego Rivera. The Great City of Tenochtitlan. Fresco. 1945. National Palace, Mexico City
Ministry of education murals. Frescos. 1924 Mexico city
The frescos show the traditional customs and festivals of the Indian peasant. These images focus on the Indian presenting them as the quintessence of the real Mexico. The Corn Festival
Day of the Dead
Diego Rivera 1924-7. Rivera Chapel. Autonomous University of Chapingo (UACh), Mexicothe biological and geological evolutionary cycles of the earth. The social and political revolution is therefore presented as the counterpart to the process of the natural evolution of the earth. the work divides into three parts. The left panel depicts mans struggle to have land the right panel shows the evolution of Mother Nature center shows the communion between man and earth. It is considered to be one of Riveras best works
To all those who fell and to the thousands who will yet fall in the fight for the land and to all those who make it fruitful by the labor of their hands. Earth manured with blood, bones and flesh! To commemorate all those who sacrificed themselves to it. This work is dedicated to them by all those who took part in it.
Left hand side: contains a series of fresco panels depicting the revolutionary transformation of the ownership of the land. Alliance of the Peasant and the Industrial Worker.
The Blood of the Revolutionary Martyrs Fertilizing the Earth
Right hand side: side of the chapel and acting as athematic mirror to the images, Rivera presents the biological and geological evolutionary cycles of the earth. The social and political revolution is therefore presented as the counterpart to the process of the natural evolution of the earth. The Flowering
The Liberated Earth with the Natural Forces Controlled by ManA glorious conclusion to the portrayal of revolutionary transformation and natural evolution. Painted after Riveras wife Guadalupe Marin, who was then pregnant with heir first child, the monumental and voluptuous nude reclines, representing the fertile earth. Attending her are the forces of nature: fire, wind and water. Water is represented by a woman who sits in front of a giant hydro-electric tube.Wind represented as a windmillFire: as Prometheus handing fire to man.
The lands bounty rightfully possessed
Images of men clutching hammers and sickles and sheaves of corn emphasizing the idea of the socialized transformation of the land.
Jos Clemente Orozco1883-1949
Born in Jalisco and studied at the Academy of San Carlos. Was part of the Mexican Revolution and lost his left hand. Heavily influenced by Jos Guadalupe Posada, worked in full view of the public in shop windows located on the way Orozco went to school. In his autobiography, Orozco confesses, "I would stop [on my way to and from school] and spend a few enchanted minutes in watching [Posada] This was the push that first set my imagination in motion and impelled me to cover paper with my earliest little figures; this was my awakening to the existence of the art of painting."
Jos Clemente Orozco
Most of the murals done by Jos Clemente Orozco have with themes of a mestizo Mexico, the ideas of renovation and the tragedies of the Revolution.Because Orozco did experience the horrors of war he often expresses the grotesqueness of war in his work. Orozco was the most complex of the Mexican muralists, fond of the theme of human suffering, but less realistic and more fascinated by machines than Rivera. Between 1922 and 1948, Orozco painted murals in Mexico City, Orizaba, Claremont, California, New York City, Hanover, New Hampshire, Guadalajara, Jalisco, and Jiquilpan, Michoacn.
The TrenchNational Preparatory SchoolMexico City, 1926
Powerful image relating to the revolution and human tragedy. Three men are shown martyred for their cause of the revolution. The symbolism is similar to that of the crucifixion of Christ, demonstrating the sacrifice for humanity. There is no enthusiasm about the war nor even a suggestion of pride in the painting but demonstrating a human tragedy instead.
Franciscan FriarHospicio CabaasGuadalajara, Jalisco, Mx1938-1939
The message of the murals is not a comforting one: the Indian world is perceived as cruel and savage, and the Spanish conquest as even more harsh. A Franciscan friar seems to threaten a kneeling Indian with a crucifix, which looks more like a word with point held downwards. the most important area of domination by colonialism was in the mental universe of the colonized, the control through culture of how a people perceived themselves and their relationship to the world.. To control a peoples culture is to control their tools of self-definition in relationship to other. Ngugi Wa-Thiongo, Kenyan writer.
The Spanish Conquest of MexicoHospicio CabaasGuadalajara, Jalisco, Mx1938-1939
The horse that carried the conquistadores to victory is transmuted into a magical but sinister machine, with a flowing tail made up of loops and chains. The coloring, mostly blacks and reds, is an harsh as the composition.
David Alfaro Siqueiros1896-1974
A Mexican social realist painter, better known for his large murals in frescoHe was a Stalinist and member of the Mexican Communist Party who participated in an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate Leon Trotsky in May 1940.At the age of 18 he fought in the Revolution under Venustiano Carranza His military travels around the country exposed him to Mexican culture and the raw everyday struggles of the working and rural poor classesSiqueiros would develop a mural technique that involved tracing figures onto a wall with an electric projector, photographing early wall sketches to improve perspective, and new paints, spray guns, and other tools to accommodate the surface of modern buildings and the outdoor conditions
David Alfaro Siquiros. The New Democracy. 1944-45 Mexico City, Mexico.
The New Democracy
A giant female Revolutionary figure bursting out of a volcano, thrusting aside the chains of her oppression and subjugation. Reliance on the centrality of a singular monumental figure to convey the narrative.
The Torment of Cuauhtmoc. 1950. Mexico City, Mexico.
The Torment of Cuauhtmoc, 1950
Centers on the captive of Cuauhtmoc by Cortezs forces and the torture he underwent to reveal the whereabouts of the supposed hidden Aztec gold.
The Resurrection of Cuauhtmoc
Depicting Cuauhtmoc reborn in the armor of a Spanish ConquistadorEmbedded is the idea that the superiority of the Spanish conquistador derived not from divine orientation but from the technical sophistication of his armor and weaponry.
David Alfaro Siqueiros. Amrica Tropical. Los Angeles, California, USA.
Juan OGorman. The Colonial Past. Moasic on the Central Library, Mexico University, Mexico City, 1952.