Art / World: Mexico
Virtual group exhibition
Los Angeles, CA
November 11, 2020
Featured Artists: Linda Vallejo, Rufino Tamayo, Francisco Zúñiga, and Diego Rivera
Mexico is bordered to the north by the United States, to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea, and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Mexican society is characterized by extremes of wealth and poverty, with a limited middle class wedged between an elite cadre of landowners and investors and masses of rural and urban poor. Despite the socio-economic polarities, it faces as a developing country, Mexico is one of Latin America’s most dominant economic and political forces. It has a dynamic industrial base, vast mineral resources, a wide-ranging service sector, and the world’s largest population of Spanish speakers—about two and a half times that of Spain or Colombia.
Mexico is a country rich in culture and arts beginning in the Pre-Columbian era, ca. 8000BC, to the Spanish Colonial period, and on to the present day. Visual art serves as a vehicle to communicate to the viewer different aspects of Mexican culture, society, politics, and other art forms like music and dance.
It wasn’t until the 20th-century artists were encouraged to embrace their identity and creativity rather than opt for safer styles popularized by western artists. In particular, the artist who best demonstrated this was master muralist–Diego Rivera. In response to the Russian revolution, Rivera moved away from the Cubist movement, which had begun to trend towards more politically focused propaganda. Alongside David Alfaro Siqueiros and Rufino Tamayo, described as great Mexican muralists in their own right, they narrated their people’s struggles as they revolutionized contemporary artistic expression. They broke barriers that gave way to the successful stars of today’s contemporary art world like sculptor and painter Gabriel Orozco and installation and interventionist Pia Camil.
To properly pay homage to this distinguished group of masters, we will highlight some of their most significant contributions to Mexican art while contrasting with contemporary examples to explore its current state fully. We hope to introduce panel participants to Mexican art and spur their imaginations and their collections to encompass work by these phenomenally talented artists.