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"Art in Post-Revolutionary Mexico"
1999-09-16 until 2000-02-13
Dallas Museum of Art
Dallas, TX, USA United States of America

The years following Mexico’s revolutionary period, which is generally considered to have lasted from 1910 to 1920, gave rise to a national spirit of optimism and an unprecedented flowering of culture. The artists who lived through the revolution responded vividly to this tumultuous, bloody period, and numerous foreign artists were drawn to Mexico in the revolution’s aftermath by the sensation of social and artistic renewal.

Art in Post-Revolutionary Mexico, 1920-1950 features more than 50 paintings, drawings, prints, and photographs by some of Mexico’s most famous artists such as José Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and Rufino Tamayo. The exhibition presents the variety of ways that domestic and foreign artists worked in Mexico as a newly vitalized community, and contributed to the country’s emergence for the first time as an artistic force in global culture.

This remarkable artistic outpouring defined and extolled Mexico’s national character and the country’s bright promise as a modern state. According to the artists, the concept of national character had several aspects: that Mexico was comprised of diverse, and ancient cultures, that contending forces prevailed in society as the rebuilding was to begin, and that Mexican art, like its European and North American counterparts, partook of worldwide connections. Art in Post-Revolutionary Mexico, 1920-1950 encompasses themes which derive from this concept, including Mexico’s pre-Hispanic past, the worker and social reform, modernism and the city, and surrealist trends in Mexican art.

Printmaking flourished in Mexico after the revolution, especially during the 1930s and 40s. 1937 marked the founding of one of twentieth-century Mexico’s most important cultural institutions, the Popular Graphic Arts Workshop. Many of the prints in the exhibition were done by members of the workshop, who believed they were working for the social good and sought to further the aims of the revolution.

In addition to works by major Mexican artists, the exhibition includes a selection of prints and photographs by foreign artists who worked in Mexico in the decades following the revolution. Critical exchanges took place in Mexico among Mexican, North American, and European artists. Photographers such as Edward Weston, Paul Strandz, and Henri Cartier-Bresson worked alongside their Mexican colleagues in the exciting post-revolutionary milieu.

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